The Telegraph
Sunday , February 2 , 2014
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Codeshare jolt to Jet

Breaking ties

New Delhi, Feb. 1: A day after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) downgraded India’s aviation safety rating to Category 2, two US-based airlines snapped code-share ties with Jet Airways.

The decision of the two airlines — United Airlines and American Airlines — takes immediate effect and they have started rebooking passengers on alternative carriers.

“The move takes effect today and passengers are being rebooked,” Chicago-based United Continental Holdings, which operates United Airlines, said.

Naresh Goyal-led Jet Airways has seven flights to New York. It has codeshare agreements with 12 airlines, including Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, Etihad and Malaysia Airlines.

Codesharing allows an airline to book its passengers on partner carriers and provide seamless transport to multiple destinations where it has no presence.

Suppose an Indian passenger wants to travel to Denver in the US. Jet Airways has no direct flight to Denver. However, a single Jet Airways ticket would have flown him to Denver even though he would be taking two separate flights — one from New Delhi to New York and a connecting flight (say, United Airlines) to Denver because of the codesharing between the two airlines. His luggage would have been seamlessly transferred from one flight to another under the arrangement.

Following today’s move, a passenger flying a Jet flight will have to book two tickets — one to New York and the other to Denver (from New York).

Similarly, for a person travelling to New Delhi from Denver, United Airlines will provide connectivity from New York to New Delhi on flights other than those of Jet Airways.

The move comes as a fresh blow to Jet Airways, hit hard by the FAA’s downgrade yesterday. Jet, along with Air India, are the two Indian carriers that fly to the US. While they will be allowed to maintain their existing services, they cannot start any new service to the US. They will also not be permitted to sign more codesharing deals with other US airlines.

Further, passengers flying to and from the US on these flights can face delays as these planes will be subject to more stringent engineering and other safety checks in the US.