A much-hyped travel Web site jointly owned by leading airlines will be called Orbitz. The site, which had been known only by its code name T2, is expected to go live around Sept. 1, accompanied by an estimated $50 million-plus campaign from TBWA/Chiat/Day
, New York. "Orbitz connotes feelings of global reach, advanced technology, as well as the fun and adventurousness inherent in travel,'' said Alex Zoghlin, chief technology officer for the site. Orbitz, which is aimed at leisure travelers and will compete with Travelocity and Expedia, said it will offer an unbiased, neutral search engine allowing consumers to find the best fares across some 35 airlines, including principal investors American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and United Airlines. The site may offer special fares unavailable at Travelocity and Expedia, but those fares also will be available on the individual airline sites. Orbitz said it's negotiating with rental car companies, hotel chains and cruise lines to offer their products on its site as well. Other equity investors may be signed up from those categories and beyond, and an initial public
Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.