American Airlines and Sabre settle legal dispute

American Airlines and global distribution system (GDS) Sabre have settled their legal dispute in the US.

In a joint statement issued today Sabre and American announced they had “settled their disputes and renewed their current distribution agreement for multiple years”.

The companies have been locked in competing anti-trust claims in the US since last year over American’s use of its online Direct Connect facility to distribute fares outside of the GDSs.

The airline remains embroiled in competing legal claims against Travelport, owner of the Galileo and Worldspan GDSs.

The agreement announced today includes an unspecified payment by Sabre to American.

According to the pair’s statement: “American will receive a monetary payment from Sabre.

“American will continue pursuing its direct connect initiative. American has agreed to negotiate with Sabre for additional technology services in the future.”

Full details have yet to be made public pending a review of the settlement by the US court presiding over the restructuring of American Airlines’ parent AMR Corporation.

AMR is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after filing for court-protected restructuring at the end of last year.

The end to the dispute between Sabre and American, a partner of British Airways, comes as airline association Iata plans to pilot a New Distribution Capability which it would end the filing of schedules and fares with GDSs.

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