Ticket sales pact signed with Galileo

May 17, 2007
Southwest targets business travelers with move

Southwest Airlines Co. has signed a 10-year contract to sell tickets through the Galileo distribution service to win more business travelers.

The agreement, Southwest's second with a ticketing company, will be "a significant revenue growth opportunity," Chief Executive Gary Kelly said Wednesday at the airline's annual meeting.

Kelly is betting that wider availability of tickets will lure more corporate travel accounts, bolstering Southwest's bid to add revenue while limiting fare increases. Jet fuel and labor costs rose 59 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively, in 2006.

"It will make it much easier for travel agents and corporate travel managers to gain access and book Southwest," Kelly said. "We are confident we'll gain new customers that way."

Southwest, which primarily sells tickets through its own Web site, previously supplied fare and schedule information only to Sabre Holdings Corp.

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