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British Air to Name Partners in Online Agency

May 10, 2000|Bloomberg News

British Airways said it will name other airlines today that have signed up to join the online travel agency it's starting with the aim of reducing distribution costs by cutting out travel agents. Europe's biggest airline is expected to cooperate with archrival Deutsche Lufthansa and other European rivals by selling air tickets directly through a Web site, which is likely to be called Basilica. BA is leading the push for an Internet site that's expected to include Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and SAirGroup's Swissair. They would compete with U.S. carriers that aim before June to have a site that enables people to compare fares of different carriers. BA is seeking ways to cut costs, having almost certainly incurred a loss in the first three months of the year, its first deficit since it was sold to investors in 1987.

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