American in Direct Connect discussions with HRG

In another curtly worded announcement American Airlines has announced leading corporate travel agency Hogg Robinson is in talks over a Direct Connect agreement.

No further details were announced but the announcement appears to be clearly aimed at raising the stakes in the ongoing row between the airlines and GDSs.

This has seen a succession of law suits and counter law suits swapped in the US between American and Travelport and Sabre.

Today’s announcement said: “American Airlines and Hogg Robinson PLC announced today that the companies have agreed in principle to explore a long-term arrangement for the benefit of their corporate clients, in which HRG would receive guaranteed direct long-term access to American’s fares, schedules, and customised travel products and services. 

“HRG said it would plan to access American’s content through the airline’s direct connect link using its own technology, either directly or via a global distribution system (GDS) application programming interface (API).”

The announcement comes after an equally efficiently-worded announcement of an extension to the Travelport American Airlines full-content deal last Friday.

This allows the two sides to continue operating as normal while the legal dispute between the two sides continues and was not a sign of an end to the dispute.

The row centres around the cost of distributing air fares on the GDSs, with American saying it wants to drive all bookings direct.

GDSs argue they add value to the process and direct connect feeds will reduce choice to the consumer and are unproven technology.

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