Egencia Inks Agreement For Southwest Content

Egencia signed an agreement with Southwest Airlines to enable mutual clients later this year to book and manage the carrier's content, the companies plan to announce today.

Development teams still must integrate systems, but the travel management company plans to tap into Southwest's application programming interface and deliver fare content to users by "mid-year," said Egencia Americas senior vice president Mark Hollyhead. He added that Egencia and Southwest would continue "building that out incrementally throughout the remainder of the year."

Hollyhead said the goal is to provide clients with the "full suite of Swabiz content," referring to Southwest's business booking portal. That includes the ability to book, cancel and exchange Southwest fares, including "last-seat inventory," according to an Egencia statement.

Hollyhead would neither comment on the terms of the deal nor discuss whether Egencia clients would be assessed a particular fee to book Southwest. "There is a finance arrangement between us and Southwest, and that will be discussed with our customers on a case-by-case basis," he said. "This isn't available to every customer. This is us announcing that everybody who has an existing arrangements with Southwest via Swabiz can now book that and have that fully reported through Egencia."

The carrier has worked with other third parties to distribute its content, including BookingBuilder, Concur and Rearden Commerce. It has limited distribution through the Sabre global distribution system. Travelport also taps into Southwest's API for distribution. Egencia currently links to Swabiz, but since that link takes clients to the Southwest site, "we don't know the full extent of Southwest usage" among Egencia clients, Hollyhead said.

Southwest and Egencia, then known as Expedia Corporate Travel, announced a similar agreement in 2005 that a Southwest official later said did not "pan out."