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IATA Claims Victory in Court Decision

January 14, 2011 By: George Dooley

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) claimed a victory in its dispute with Sabre over the IATA PaxIS product. On January 11, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Canada) dismissed Sabre’s claims that the IATA PaxIS products violated confidentiality obligations.

“IATA has won an important legal battle to preserve competition for airline data transaction products," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's director general and CEO. "The Canadian court decision vindicates the rights of airlines to determine how their trade association may use their data."

PaxIS is an airline industry business intelligence product based in part on ticketing data that IATA collects and processes through its billing and settlement plans (BSP). This data is transmitted to IATA by the global distribution system (GDS) providers, such as Sabre, that assist travel agencies in ticket issuance for their airline principals.

In 2006, Sabre filed a lawsuit against IATA alleging breach of confidence by IATA with respect to its use of the ticketing data, transmitted by Sabre, in IATA’s PaxIS products.

In its 32-page decision, the court found IATA acted lawfully in developing the PaxIS products based on data from its BSPs. IATA noted that the court also rejected each of Sabre's arguments that IATA owed Sabre a duty to use BSP data solely for settlement purposes and not for “commercial” products such as PaxIS. Lastly, the judge determined that Sabre could not claim confidential rights to the airline ticketing data, IATA said.

“This decision brings clarity to the marketplace. We are pleased that we can continue to provide the aviation, travel and tourism industries with a cost-effective and competitive data product that supports critical decision-making in their businesses,” said Bisignani.


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By George Dooley | January 14, 2011
Canadian court decision hailed by IATA as Sabre reviews options.
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