In a bid to provide direct connectivity with Seoul, Air India has signed a code-share agreement with South Korea’s major airline Asiana Airways which is expected to be implemented soon.“As per the agreement, which would be finalised for implementation at the earliest, both Air India and Asiana Airways would share code on the flights operated by each other on the India-South Korea (Seoul) and vice-versa sectors, on a free flow basis,” an Air India official said.
The required testing system for such code-share cooperation would begin at an early date, he said.
Code-share is a business arrangement where two or more airlines share the same flight. A seat can be purchased on one airline but the flight is actually operated by a cooperating airline under a different flight number or code.
Air India is also in the process of entering into similar code-share arrangements with Air
China and Egypt Air in the near future, the official said.
Air India presently has code-shares with 12 world airlines. They are Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Air Mauritius, Austrian Airlines, South African Airways, Aeroflot, Sri Lankan Airlines, Swiss Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, British Midland and Turkish Airlines.
With Asiana, Air India proposes to expand the code-share agreement to freely include additional sectors on each other’s network, based on connectivity needs and approvals from the regulatory authorities.
Asiana Airways would also explore opportunities to fly to more destinations in India, subject to regulatory approvals.
Both carriers are also preparing to integrate their Frequent Flyer Programmes (FFP) for mutual benefit to allow a passenger flying Asiana to earn points on his or her Air India FFP and vice-versa. Asiana flights would also operate under an Air India code and vice-versa.