What is important in doing codeshare (4)
Partnerships between airlines are common more than ever. Each partner has its own perception of how the best synergies can be reached in a partnership. This belief is usually based on their own experience, the available knowledge, established processes and used tools. But in a partnership, both parties have to act as team together to be successful and to generate the ideal synergies for all parties.
In a series of several articles in our LSY blog, we’ll illuminate the various business steps how both partners can generate the best advantages out of their mutual partnership.
Correct reflection and setup of agreement
Partnerships are usually agreed by alliance managers or members of the external affairs department. We recognized very often that codeshare agreements are based on flight number such as “operating flight XY 1234 should get the link to the partner marketing flight YZ 9876”. Trough codeshare agreements based on flight numbers with an one-to-one relation – from a mathematical point of view –, the parties forget that operating flight numbers are changing frequently or at short notice. More prudent is to settle the agreement in a flexible way, e.g. on O&D base with a set of allowed marketing flight numbers to be used. The importance of the agreement is the market to be served and the flight number is only a tool for this.
After the agreement between partnering airlines is settled, each party starts internal communication. The details of the agreement are handed over to the people in codeshare management team who carry out the daily work, but without further control or monitoring afterwards. Whether the team or department dealing with codeshare agreements is able to interpret the agreement or even to transfer theory into praxis is very often not monitored. “Here is the agreement, please consider in our schedule” – this sink or swim method is not really constructive. For people getting the request to reflect the agreement in the schedule on a day-to-day base, it is important to have the right processes and tools at hand to do so.
There are agreements which are quite easy to understand and handle. However, complexity increases tremendously when more parameters need to be considered, such as allowed subsidiaries, aircraft owners, or rules for the flight number assignment. The manual work and the absence of the tools capable of properly reflecting the agreement leads to nonobservance of the full potential or errors in the schedule. Combined with the nowadays available voluminous and quickly changing schedule data, the situation gets really very difficult to handle for a codeshare manager.