Southwest Airlines sees its new reservations system as being key to driving interline and codeshare traffic with potential overseas partners.

When the carrier’s new, harmonised system is in place at some point in 2017, it will help drive the low-cost carrier’s growth strategy, says Evan Berg, senior manager of international planning and business development.

The Amadeus system will link together both the carrier's domestic and international networks, and facilitate connections with other carriers.

The airport of choice for international connections is Los Angeles, but Berg says that Southwest’s broad network could create opportunities for international carriers to serve other cities as well.

He says that such relationships will give the carrier the opportunity to not only benefit from international feed, but also learn about the issues and challenges involved in long-haul, intercontinental services. International feed will also help Southwest grow its domestic US network.

As for the carrier’s international priorities, it continues to explore possibilities in Latin and South America. The airline is embarking on a string of new routes to Mexico following the recent implementation of a new US-Mexican air services deal.

When asked if Southwest’s growing interest in the international market could lead to the acquisition of widebody aircraft, Berg says that longer-term such jets could be a possibility, but for the time being the carrier is happy with a single-type fleet that is entirely based on the Boeing 737. From its earliest days, one pillar of Southwest’s model is commitment to a single aircraft type - though it briefly operated Boeing 717s as well after its acquisition of AirTran.

Source: Cirium Dashboard