Indian carriers spread their wings in international skies

April 21st, 2008 - 12:32 pm ICT by admin  

By Varada Bhat
Mumbai, April 21 (IANS) With international passenger traffic to India increasing by 18 percent every year, Indian carriers are busy expanding their reach across the continents through what is commonly known as code-share agreements with global carriers. Code-share refers to business practice where a flight operated by an airline is jointly marketed as a flight for one or more airlines.

For example, a traveller can purchase a single ticket on a journey, which has two flights, like Mumbai-Singapore and Singapore-Sydney, on two different airlines.

Jet Airways has already tied up with All Nippon Airways, a Japanese carrier, Air Canada and American Airlines while Kingfisher has signed an agreement with Emirates, Air France, Continental, and Delta Airlines.

The state-owned Air India is already a member of Star Alliance, which is one of the largest groupings of global carriers. As a result, Air India will code-share with its member like Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Air China and United Airlines.

According to code sharing agreement, an Air India passenger can fly to Munich on an Air India operated flight. The passenger can switch over to a Lufthansa flight for any other destination within Europe.

The traveller can also enjoy frequent flyer benefits on code-shared routes, and has to check baggage only once and have it delivered to a final destination.

Jet Airways CEO Wolganag Prock Schauer feels code-share is a very integral part of the airline expansion plan.

“With this we can cater to the market and passengers beyond the international routes which we serve, and also make our presence felt,” Schauer told IANS.

Through code sharing, Jet airways makes its presence felt in six cities in the US, five in Canada and Australia, a few cities in Japan and three in Europe.

According to Kingfisher Airlines marketing general manager Vikram Malhotra, code sharing will help the brand visibility of the airline.

“Just by doing this, we can offer seamless travel to our customers to more destinations,” he said.

Centre of Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa) CEO for Indian sub-continent and Middle east Kapil Kabul told IANS: “By code sharing, the airlines will complement each other by growing their network, which will enhance the revenue of the airline.”

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