INDIA’S Vistara has entered into a codeshare pact with German airline Lufthansa, the sixth such agreement with an international airline as the domestic full service carrier seeks to expand its overseas network.
As part of the agreement, Lufthansa will add its ‘LH’ designator code to nearly 18 Vistara-operated flights every day covering ten Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai.
The two carriers already have an interline partnership. Vistara is the second airline after Air India to have a codeshare agreement with Lufthansa.
In a release on Monday (9), Vistara said the two airlines are planning to soon expand scope of the agreement, enabling frequent fliers of both airlines to earn miles, points when travelling on each other’s networks and enjoy other benefits.
Codesharing allows an airline to book its passengers on its partner carriers and provide seamless travel to destinations where it has no presence. An interline arrangement refers to a pact to issue and accept tickets for flights that are operated by the partner airline.
Apart from Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, the codeshare agreement with Lufthansa will cover Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kochi and Pune.
“Sales under the codeshare agreement progressively open today on all channels and major GDS systems for flights starting December 16, 2019,” the release said.
Vinod Kannan, Vistara’s Chief Strategy Officer, said as a growing global carrier, one of its key goals is to offer an extended international network to customers through such strategic associations.
Vistara and Lufthansa already have an interline/ Through Check-in agreement, using which customers can seamlessly connect from Vistara-operated domestic flights in India to Lufthansa-operated flights to both of its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich and beyond.
Using the Through Check-in facility, customers get their boarding passes at the first point of departure for all the travel sectors, both domestic and international, with their baggage checked through to the final destination, as per the release.
Vistara, which began services in January 2015, now has codeshare agreements with six airlines- Lufthansa, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, United Airlines and Japan Airlines.
It also has around 27 interline partnerships with various airlines.
Lufthansa said it has entered into a “comprehensive codeshare agreement” Vistara.
“As part of the new agreement customers benefit from 126 weekly flights connecting ten key Indian cities to the Lufthansa Group network via Delhi / Lufthansa and Vistara in final stages on enabling customers being able to earn miles flying with both airlines,” the German carrier said in a release.
This would be in addition to Lufthansa’s current schedule of 56 weekly international flights to and from the major Indian hubs of Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai.
“It is planned to subsequently add more destinations of Vistara’s network under the umbrella of the codeshare agreement in 2020 and beyond,” the release said.
Vistara operates over 200 flights daily connecting 34 destinations. It has a fleet of 27 Airbus 320 and 9 Boeing 737-800NG aircraft. The carrier is a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines.
Lufthansa Group airlines serve 270 destinations in 105 countries on four continents, offering 11,000 weekly frequencies.