Ibom Air, Dana to commence first domestic interline agreement in May
Nigerian airlines are making a breakthrough in what is expected to be the first interline or codeshare deal between domestic airlines in Nigeria as Ibom Air mulls new partnership with Dana Air.
In the last 20 years, the push for domestic airline interline had been on without any appreciable progress. While Air France interlined with defunct Bellview and Aero many years ago, domestic airlines had not made headway as a result of challenges associated with the arrangement.
An interline flight is an agreement between airlines to coordinate passengers with an itinerary that uses multiple airlines, without having to check in again or deal with their baggage at the stopover while a codeshare agreement is where airlines operate flights on behalf of another airline, using their flight code.
The Chief Operating Officer of Ibom Air, George Uriesi at the quarterly Aviation Round Table (ART) Breakfast meeting held virtually with the theme, “Utilising Interlining and Codeshare Agreements as Tools for Domestic Airlines Profitability and Passenger Comfort’, disclosed the extent to which his airline had gone to bring innovation to fruition.
He stated that his carrier just finished a long process of interlining with some Nigerian airlines, adding, “We are going to launch soon by May 2021”.
He described the country’s 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.
He said, “We are on the last phase of the interline project. By May, we shall launch. The challenge of it is to have partners who are organized and who meet up with the organization of your company. Your workforce has to work together, seat together to look at your schedule, integrate into your reservation system”.
Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of NCAA, lauded Uriesi for the idea that he said would help airlines to maximize profit and make air travel to be enjoyable for passengers and on the other hand eliminate delay and flight cancellations.