Southwest likes the inroads it’s made with business flyers

Southwest Airlines says that in the two years since it began offering its content to TMCs on the three major GDSs it has gained a 10% share of domestic corporate travel bookings settled by ARC.

The figure, presented by the carrier at its investor day presentation on Wednesday, was derived from ARC data.

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“We think we’ve got the best value proposition in coach, and I think corporate travel managers are beginning to notice that,” chief commercial officer Ryan Green said.

Southwest went live for corporate bookings on the Travelport GDSs in May and July of 2020 and then began selling its content to TMCs through the Amadeus GDS in October of that year. In July 2021, Southwest content went live for corporate bookings on Sabre, marking the first time Southwest content was available in each of the three major GDSs.

According to the data presented by Southwest, its share of domestic TMC bookings settled by ARC went from less than 1% in the second quarter of 2020 to 6% by the end of last year. Now it has jumped to 10%.

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Green noted that Southwest’s share in terms of the dollar value of domestic TMC bookings is less than 10% since the carrier doesn’t offer high-priced first-class seats. He also said that the carrier has made its biggest in-roads with small and midsize corporate accounts.

According to the Southwest analysis, American has the largest share of TMC domestic bookings at 30%, followed by Delta with 28% and United with 23%.

“As business travel continues to rebound, we have a great opportunity to increase our corporate travel share further with the vast majority of domestic corporate travel flown in coach,” Green said.

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