In a major setback to state-run Air India, the High Court of Punjab and Haryana has overruled the national carrier’s decision to shift domestic ticket-booking business exclusively on Travelport, asking it to continue using the services of Amadeus and others to book domestic and international flights. Air India had discontinued services of all other global distribution system (GDS) portals from December 5, 2018.
The judgement of the HC read, “An interim direction is issued to Air India Limited to continue to allow using GDS of Travelport, Sabre and Amadeus, as was being used prior to Decemeber 4, 2018 and till further orders, Air India inventory will be made available to Amadeus also, as was being done prior to December 4, 2018.”
The court has given Air India three weeks’ time to respond to the judgement with relevant documents.
The court noted that under Article 12, the Air India was duty-bound to invite bids before giving exclusive rights to any agency for GDS. It is further contended that Air India was duty-bound to call bids in the form of tenders and that Amadeus could not be arbitrarily excluded from sale of tickets for domestic flights.