Travelport has launched arguably its most stinging attack so far on American Airlines as the row over the airline's Direct-Connect model continues to escalate.
Just days after American Airlines signs a deal to work with online travel agency Priceline using its deeply controversial Direct-Connect system, chief commercial officer Kurt Ekert - one of the key executives involved in the furore - says the row is not a "technology issue", as many have claimed.
"It is about AA wanting to gain additional control over distribution for its sole benefit and against the interests of consumer travelers and other key industry stakeholders."
Although some suggest that the introduction of the Direct-Connect system has placed perhaps the most intensive pressure on the relationship between airlines and global distribution systems for years, Ekert claims the actually technology itself is not "disruptive" and does not "forward innovation" in the sector.
The latest development is "simply an attempt by AA to push a materially inferior version of the value provided to travel agencies, suppliers and others in the travel distribution chain by the highly evolved and efficient GDS channel," Ekert argues.
The outspoken Ekert also believes the rhetoric around Direct-Connect being a basis for better management and selling of ancillary services is also incorrect.
The GDSs and Travelport have the ability and technology to sell ancillary services and to "merchandise everything to and through the travel agency that it [also] sells on AA.com", he says.