RealTime IT News

Like, Just Go Somewhere

No matter where you go these days, online travel sites seems to be the way to get the tickets, and there's so much news from this space it's practically a cottage industry.

Just today the new airline-backed travel site Orbitz signed a deal with 12 international air carriers.

AOL's Digital City signed a pact with Viator Inc. to offer its users booking services for sightseeing tours, events and attractions, such as passes for tours, museums and theater tickets.

And Priceline stock was up more than 13 percent in early trading, after reporting its first profit ever and seeing analysts raise their estimates on the phoenix-like company.

Orbitz signed as charter associates AeroMexico, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, El Al Israel Airlines, Japan Airlines, LanPeru, LOT Polish Airlines, Qantas Airways, Scandinavian Airlines, South African Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

"Orbitz aims to provide travelers with the best possible selection of flights and fares to popular international destinations," said Jeffrey Katz, president and CEO.

Orbitz charter associates, along with the founding airlines, offer all their Web-only fares through the Orbitz site and also provide Orbitz with marketing support. To date, Orbitz has entered into charter associate agreements with 54 airline, hotel and rental car companies and is in negotiations with others.

Digital City, meanwhile, said its visitors will have access to Viator's destination products, including more than 4,000 tours, events, attractions and sight seeing activities in 40 countries. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Viator's technology establishes Internet links between travel suppliers and travel retailers.

"Once (our visitors have) decided where to go and what to do, (they) can now book and purchase their entertainment reservations easily and conveniently online," said Jim Riesenbach, vice president and general manager of AOL Local Products.

Name-your-price travel company Priceline.com , meanwhile, was enjoying the fruits of its turnaround efforts as its stock shot up 13.19 percent or $1.17 minutes after the opening bell, to $10.04. Goldman Sachs issued an advisory to clients raising its estimate for next year to a profit of 22 cents a share, from 12 cents. And Credit Suisse First Boston raised its 2001 earnings per share view to a profit of 11 cents from a loss of 1 cent. It also increased its 2002 forecast of earnings per share to 14 cents from 11 cents.