Ibom Air and Dana Air have concluded plans to sign interline/codeshare agreement thereby becoming the first Nigerian airlines to ink such deal in more than two decades.
The chief operating officer of Ibom Air, Mr. George Uriesi disclosed this at the quarterly Aviation Round Table (ART) Breakfast Meeting held yesterday in Lagos with theme ‘Utilising interlining and codeshare agreements as tools for domestic airlines profitability and passenger comfort.’
He said the airline had put finishing touches to the agreement with some domestic carriers adding “we are going to launch it by May 2021.”
“We are on the last phase of the interline project. By May, we shall launch it. The challenge of it is to have partners who are organised and who meet up with the organisation of your company.
“Your workforce has to work together, seat together to look at your schedule, and integrate into your reservation system,” he said.
Uriesi described the Nigerian airline industry as “competitive” because of the proliferation of airlines for a small pool of market which comes with lots of empty seats when aircraft doors are closed.
In his remarks, the director of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu said such agreement would help airlines to maximise profit and make air travel enjoyable for passengers and on the other hand eliminate delays and flight cancellations.
“We are happy about this. Airlines are supposed to manage their business properly. These agreements are business decisions by airlines have several benefits both for the airlines and passengers. I don’t see why a country of 200 million people cannot have 30 million passengers. It is not encouraging.
“The airlines need political will to work together. Nigeria has the market. We must our resources and energy into this to bring it to fruition and not allow airlines like Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya take advantage of our huge market,” he said.
Also speaking, former director of the agency, Dr Harold Demuren said frowned at the slow process of interline/codeshare in Nigeria saying it was long overdue.
He pointed to the use and advancement of technology by commercial banks with the way a bank ATM machine can be use for financial transactions in other banks’ ATM cards.
A codeshare agreement, also known as codeshare, is a business arrangement, common in the aviation industry, in which two or more airlines publish and market the same flight under their own airline designator and flight number (the “airline flight code”) as part of their published timetable or schedule.
Typically, a flight is operated by one airline (technically called an “administrating carrier” while seats are sold for the flight by all cooperating airlines using their own designator and flight number.
On the other hand, interlining or interline ticketing or interline booking, is a voluntary commercial agreement between individual airlines to handle passengers traveling on itineraries that require multiple flights on multiple airlines.
Such agreements allow passengers to change from one flight on one airline to another flight on another airline without having to gather their bags or check-in again.
Airlines can also promise free rebooking if the connection is lost due to a delay.