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Northwest Sues Sabre for Breach of Contract

Northwest Airlines today
announced that it filed a lawsuit earlier today against Sabre Travel
Network in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.
In a news release issued on Aug. 24, Sabre announced that it instituted
measures that will make it more difficult for travel agents to view
Northwest flights and sell Northwest tickets.

The airline’s suit alleges that Sabre’s bias action against Northwest
flights in the airline schedules it provides to travel agents are in
breach of the contact Sabre signed with Northwest in July of 2003. That
agreement specifically prohibits the bias imposed by Sabre yesterday.

“Sabre has clearly breached our contract with the actions they initiated
on Aug. 24,” said Al Lenza, vice president of distribution and e-commerce.

The federal lawsuit seeks damages to compensate Northwest for the impact
on its business resulting from Sabre’s actions.

“The bias they have imposed against Northwest flights are denying the
flying public a fair and complete choice of both schedules and fares,”
Lenza added.


On Aug. 24, Northwest Airlines announced steps to align its distribution
costs with those of the low-cost carriers it increasingly is competing
with for customers.