American Airlines is joining other top-tier carriers, including United Airlines and British Airways, that directly supply businesses with corporate travel services via GetThere's online marketplace. Menlo Park, Calif.-based GetThere also works with lodging and car rental services.
The addition of American Airlines follows Sabre Holdings' launch of an online travel marketplace. Fort Worth, Texas-based Sabre, which runs one of the largest computer-based reservation systems for travel agents, recently acquired GetThere in a deal worth $757 million.
Last month, Sabre said it plans to cut roughly 1,200 jobs during the next several months. The move is expected to bring annual savings of $100 million beginning next year.
The online travel market is on an explosive growth track. Internet research firm Jupiter Communications expects the industry for Web-based sales in leisure and business travel to reach $28 billion in five years.
Rather than going through travel distribution systems like the one Sabre owns and operates, GetThere's customers can directly procure travel from the airline, hotel and car rental suppliers. The company's client base includes corporate giants such as Boeing, Cisco Systems, Chevron and Nike.
Sabre had been owned by AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, until last December, when AMR spun off its 83 percent share of Sabre.