[photopress:air_nz_tails_at_the_airport.jpg,full,alignright]China and New Zealand have agreed to amend their air services agreement so that their airlines can establish commercial code-share arrangements.
Annette King, New Zealand’s Minister of Transport, made the announcement after meeting with Yang Yuanyuan, Minister of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China. She said, ‘Yang and I agreed that China and New Zealand will implement from this month a change to our 1993 air services agreement to facilitate code share arrangements.’
According to official statistics, New Zealand received 114,000 visitors from China in the year to March, a 26% growth year-on-year.
ir New Zealand launched direct Auckland-Shanghai services in November 2006, a ‘milestone’ for the airline and for direct travel between New Zealand and China.
Air New Zealand plans to increase its Auckland-Shanghai services from three to five. Which is excellent news. However, shared codes are not without their problems. A simple example: when the idea of code sharing first started Qantas, the Australian airline, made deals with several other airlines. The result was chaos at the airports.
A traveler would buy a Qantas ticket, check in at a Qantas counter and find that the aircraft ready for boarding was from some other airline. At which point the passenger refused to fly.
Nowadays it is very, very carefully explained to all passengers right from the very first contact that this is a code-share flight and all though it might say Qantas it may very well be Finnair. Not that anyone has anything against Finnair. It is just that most Australians do not see raw herring and vodka as a satisfactory inflight meal. (I lie, I lie. The food on Finnair is, in fact, quite excellent.) Still, a flight from Sydney to Bangkok is often code-shared between Finnair, Air Malta, British Airways and Qantas. And this could give a passenger pause.
Code-sharing can bring benefits but it has to be handled very, very carefully.
Source: China View
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