DALLAS — IndiGo (6E), India’s largest low-cost carrier, has announced a new codeshare agreement with British Airways (BA), the flag carrier of the United Kingdom. This partnership aims to expand the options for Indian passengers traveling to major cities in Europe from various small towns across India.
As with most codeshare agreements, this one allows for seamless connectivity between the two airlines, enabling passengers to enjoy convenient travel options and supporting trade, commerce, and tourism between the two countries.
Abhijit Dasgupta, SVP of Network Planning at IndiGo, stated that the collaboration not only enhances international connectivity but also upholds 6E’s commitment to providing on-time, affordable, courteous, and hassle-free travel experiences to its customers.
Key Details of the Codeshare Agreement
- The codeshare agreement will be effective on October 12, 2023.
- The partnership will cover eight destinations in India, including three cities that were previously not served by British Airways, either directly or indirectly. These new cities are:
- Trivandrum (TRV)
- Rajkot (RAJ)
- Vadodara (BDQ)
Sacrificing Comfort in Exchange for Flexibility?
It is relatively uncommon to witness premium-service airlines joining forces with leisure and low-cost carriers in this capacity. Essentially, a codeshare flight refers to a ticket sold by one airline but managed and operated by a partner airline.
In such cases, passengers who are unfamiliar with this system may not anticipate that a flight like BA7924 from Mumbai (BOM) to Goa (GOI) is actually operated by an Airbus A321 with less legroom and fewer amenities compared to the first leg from London (LHR). Furthermore, IndiGo does not offer any premium-class seating options.
This situation can lead to misunderstandings among frequent flyers who trust the airline, as they may experience disappointment upon arriving in India and may subsequently choose not to select British Airways for future trips. To address this concern, all British Airways passengers on IndiGo flights will receive complimentary meals and an additional baggage allowance as compensation.
While it is evident that British Airways has chosen to codeshare with IndiGo to leverage its extensive domestic route network in India, allowing them to surpass pre-pandemic levels and establish a presence in over 60 Indian cities starting in October 2023, the question arises: is this partnership worthwhile?
Featured image: IndiGo VT-IUV Airbus A321-271NX. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways