Orbitz Worldwide posted a profit in the second quarter and its gross bookings rose 21%, but like Expedia Inc., Orbitz didn't keep pace with Priceline in growth of hotel room nights booked.
For Orbitz, hotel room nights stayed is a key metric because the company has established growing its hotel business as the number one priority.
In the second quarter, Priceline's room nights increased 48.2% to 23.2 million, Expedia's lagged with a 12% jump to 20.3 million, and Orbitz came in third among the publicly reporting online travel agencies with a modest 9% increase in hotel room nights.
Starting from a lower base than hotel-market leader Priceline and Expedia, Orbitz discloses the percentage gain or loss in hotel room nights, but doesn't specify the number of room nights.
Still, there were bright spots on the hotel front for Orbitz Worldwide.
Its ebookers unit saw room nights increase 58% compared with the second quarter of 2009.
Orbitz Worldwide's hotel net revenue increased 13% to $52.1 million, and that includes an increase in net revenue for its U.S. hotel business because of a hike in the number of standalone hotel transactions, the company says.
However, net revenue at Orbitz's Australia-based HotelClub business declined because of lower volumes in Europe and shift toward bookings in markets where margins are lower. Ash cloud disruptions may have contributed to some softness in Europe.
Overall for Orbitz Worldwide In the second quarter, its net income decreased 5% to $9.7 million on revenue of $193.5 million, a 3% increase.
Orbtiz Worldwide's global gross bookings increased 17% to more than $3 billion, primarily because of higher airfares and increased transaction volumes.
That, too, highlights Orbitz Worldwide's ongoing reliance on air as it continues its heavy-lifting to build its hotel business.