What is important in doing codeshare (2)
Jan 16, 2019
Episode 2: Schedule data exchange
Being in a partnership with other airlines means that the airline has to inform its partners about all own schedule updates, in best case, in time. And the partner has to be able to receive schedule data and to react accordingly.
In doing so, it appears quite often that each airline in a partnership prefers to exchange schedule data according to the own capabilities. If there are differences and there is no mutual similarity, the partners do not speak the same language – it is a common problem in communication between sender and receiver. Misunderstandings are the consequence.
Sure, the sending airline can work according to the principle: “Here is my data; it’s sink or swim” – but this does not really help to act as a team in the partnership.
First question is which data should be exchanged – the complete schedule, or, just the changes since the last sent information, or, just the flights already used in the partnership, or any other extract out of the whole schedule?
And then, how should the system prepare the schedule for the specific recipient? Some partners prefer to get the data in LT, other ones in UTC.
Not to forget are the different technical capabilities how to send respectively to receive schedule data, just to mention e-mail, FTP, sFTP, and/or telex transmission or even just Excel sheets.
Important is of course the “when” – when should data be exchanged? Just once a week via bulk schedule data, or several times a week, or maybe always if a schedule change is detected. This includes schedule changes in the operational period also – the partner might have to react quickly in order to serve the codeshare passengers with the intended service.
The facets and challenges of schedule data delivery and receipt are various. The questions what, when and how verifies and depends on the requirements of each involved party. If these requirements between sender and recipient are clear, then the airlines can find the answers to the “how”, the “what” and the “when” questions.
A schedule distribution system should therefore be highly flexible in different areas: data selection, data modification, data formats, trigger events and transfer methods. And in the ideal case, the data recipient system is flexible too.
Episode 1: Reference data as backbone
To be continued soon with Episode 3: IATA standard format