Travelocity to Market American Airlines Deals

Online travel site Travelocity will be marketing trips on American Airlines through a new, long-term promotional relationship.

The Web site which is owned by travel information giant Sabre , will immediately begin promoting special Web-only fares and vacation packages for Fort Worth, Texas-based American, it said.

Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

To highlight the new fares from American, the world’s largest air carrier, Travelocity plans during the next several weeks to launch new splash pages, banner ads, and online direct mailings to registered users. It also said it would promote the fares on Yahoo and AOL Time Warner’s America Online service, both of which have marketing deals with Travelocity.

“This expanded partnership with American is another step forward in Travelocity’s hard work to compete for and get the best fares and content for consumers,” said Travelocity President and Chief Executive Sam Gilliland.

The deal is the second major partnership between American and Travelocity, and the first long-term agreement. Last year, the companies and Yahoo marketed a series of one-day-only special fares, which the carrier and its partners said proved a major success in inexpensively moving large numbers of tickets.

“This enhanced relationship demonstrates American’s long-term commitment to have a solid presence in a channel in which many customers like to purchase airline tickets, while creating value for our shareholders by recognizing significant distribution cost savings,” said Craig Kreeger, vice president of passenger sales for American, of the new arrangement with Travelocity.

The agreement continues American’s efforts to trim costs and reorganize the way it conducts much of its business. Monday, the carrier announced an agreement with Travelocity competitor Orbitz, which allows consumers to book American flights directly through the site.

That arrangement would allow the airline — stung by the sharp decline in air travel due to the economic climate and the Sept. 11 attacks — to cut booking costs dramatically by aligning itself more closely with the site, in which it is an investor.

Last week, American also announced plans to cut more jobs in a second round of widespread layoffs, and to retire an increasing number of aircraft. The announcement came just days after United Airlines said it may be forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. US Airways filed for Chapter 11 on August 11.

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