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Business Travel Trends and Forecasts Toronto
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Southwest Airlines has joined ATPCO and SITA's NDC Exchange platform. Southwest senior director of B2B strategy Rob Brown said that will enable the carrier to expand its reach to corporate travelers. The platform—already joined by Delta, United and several other carriers—enables application programming interface connectivity between airlines and sellers using the New Distribution Capability transmission standard. The corporate travel space will be the primary focus for the platform, according to Southwest.
"Since we launched our own API in 2010, we've been very intentional about growing it and working with corporate booking tools and have been very successful with the partnerships we have in place," Brown said. "With this service layer here, it allows us to have one connection to potentially many of the partners that ATPCO will have as partners on their side, and we're excited about the breadth that it will provide."
Joining the NDC Exchange will not affect Southwest's current distribution partners that are not in the exchange, he said. However, Southwest will require any new partners "to provide all the services that we offer to the business travel community, not just booking and ticketing but servicing reservations with modifications and changes," he said.
Southwest is working through a test booking period to make sure "the booking will happen in the way that we want them to happen," Brown said. Southwest expects to go live with its partners via the exchange by the end of the summer.
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