American Airlines and global distribution system (GDS) Sabre have settled their legal dispute in the US.

In a joint statement issued today Sabre and American announced they had “settled their disputes and renewed their current distribution agreement for multiple years”.

The companies have been locked in competing anti-trust claims in the US since last year over American’s use of its online Direct Connect facility to distribute fares outside of the GDSs.

The airline remains embroiled in competing legal claims against Travelport, owner of the Galileo and Worldspan GDSs.

The agreement announced today includes an unspecified payment by Sabre to American.

According to the pair’s statement: “American will receive a monetary payment from Sabre.

“American will continue pursuing its direct connect initiative.

“American has agreed to negotiate with Sabre for additional technology services in the future.”

Full details have yet to be released pending a review of the settlement by the US court presiding over the restructuring of American Airlines’ parent AMR Corporation.

AMR is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after filing for court-protected restructuring at the end of last year.

The end to the dispute between Sabre and American, a partner of British Airways, comes as airline association Iata plans to pilot a New Distribution Capability which would end the filing of airline schedules and fares with GDSs.

An American Airlines spokesman confirmed the carrier’s federal lawsuit against Travelport and US online travel agent Orbitz continues.

Meanwhile, American Airlines and Travelport have announced that the existing full content agreements between the airline and the Apollo, Galileo and Worldspan GDSs have been extended concurrently and are no longer due to expire until December 31 2012. 

A statement said: “In the interim, Travelport and American will negotiate in the hopes of reaching a new long-term agreement. Terms of Travelport’s subscriber opt-in programs for American remain unchanged. No further details will be disclosed at this time.”