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UPDATE 1-Orbitz sales forecast beats on higher travel bookings

(Adds details, share price)

Aug 7 (Reuters) - Online travel operator Orbitz Worldwide Inc forecast higher-than-expected revenue in the current quarter as an improving economy spurs spending on air travel and hotel bookings.

Orbitz' shares fell 1.1 percent to $8.96 in early trading on Thursday. The stock rose as much as 4.7 premarket after the company reported a higher-than-expected rise in revenue for the second quarter ended June 30.

The company, which operates travel booking websites under the Orbitz and CheapTickets brands, said it expects revenue of $249 million-$254 million for the quarter ending September.

Analysts on average were expecting $242.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Orbitz earned $6.9 million, or 6 cents per share, in the second quarter. A year earlier, it's profit of $561,000 included an $18.1 million write-off.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $248.1 million, beating the average analysts estimate of $245.5 million.

Gross bookings, or the dollar value of all travel services purchased, increased 9 percent to $3.4 billion.

Revenue from airline tickets rose 5 percent, while revenue from hotels and vacation packages rose 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Up to Wednesday's close of $9.06, Orbitz' shares had risen just over 26 percent this year.

(Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Savio D'Souza)