CHICAGO - October 4, 2004 - Orbitz (NASDAQ: ORBZ), the first Internet company to connect directly with an airline's reservation system, announced today that United Airlines, the nation's second largest carrier, has implemented Orbitz' Supplier Link technology to reduce its distribution costs as part of the company's ongoing restructuring efforts. United is the seventh carrier to implement Supplier Link.
Designed to aid suppliers in lowering their distribution costs, Supplier Link is a sophisticated network of connections that establishes direct links with an airline's internal reservation system in order to store passenger records, manage information and book tickets.
Orbitz' proven Supplier Link technology currently processes more direct connection air transactions than any other online travel agency. Supplier Link transactions represented 40 percent of Orbitz' air transactions in the first half of 2004.
"Using Orbitz' Supplier Link Technology is just one of the strategic initiatives United has underway to help us reduce our sales and distribution costs," said John Tague, United's executive vice president - marketing, sales and revenue. "We are extremely committed and serious about shifting our distribution to the lowest costs channels in order to stay competitive for our customers."
"Airlines, such as United, have recognized the cost-saving benefits of Orbitz' Supplier Link technology and are using it to better manage their businesses," said Chris Hjelm, chief technology officer at Orbitz. "Orbitz' low distribution cost is the key to offering consumers more choice and the widest selection of low fares and rates."
Orbitz' Supplier Link helps reduce these costs by charging a $4 flat fee per ticket processed through Supplier Link, while airlines typically pay about $12.50 to $14 for each ticket processed through other booking systems.
Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, America West Airlines, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines and US Airways have all implemented Orbitz' Supplier Link. An eighth carrier is currently in the implementation phase.
Orbitz is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its website to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz has become the third largest online travel site based on gross travel bookings. On www.orbitz.com, consumers can search more than 455 airlines, as well as rates at tens of thousands of lodging properties worldwide and at 22 car rental companies. For more information on the company, visit www.orbitz.com.
United, United Express and Ted (OTCBB: UALAQ.OB) operate more than 3,500 flights a day on a route network that spans the globe. News releases and other information about United may be found at the company's website at www.united.com.
Statements in this press release regarding Orbitz that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements and are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause such statements to differ materially from actual future events or results. Any such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following factors, among others, could cause Orbitz' actual results to differ materially from those described in a forward-looking statement: Orbitz' ability to retain and attract customers on a cost-effective basis; increasing competition from existing or new competitors; relationships with Orbitz' controlling stockholders and with other travel suppliers; limitations that could affect the expansion of our Supplier Link business; risks relating to our ability to expand our business generally; specific risks that could affect our ability to achieve growth plans for portions of our business, such as hotels; rapid technological change affecting our industry; technical and operational issues, such as journey control restrictions, that result from changes in travel suppliers' distribution methodologies that could affect our results; risks associated with litigation or government regulation; declines, disruptions or events affecting the travel industry; potential fluctuations in our quarterly and annual results. This list is intended to identify only certain of the principal factors that could cause actual results to differ. Readers are referred to the reports and documents filed from time to time by Orbitz with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a discussion of these and other important risk factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are made as of the date of this press release. Orbitz undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason.