How do airlines cooperate on routes

Aviation flirts with rail companies

Getting to the larger hub airport by high-speed train instead of a feeder plane is already possible today with just one booking. For example, Deutsche Bahn offers a number of ICE connections to Frankfurt that are synchronized with the Lufthansa departure times and only require a boarding pass. The subsidiaries Swiss and Austrian offer the same on some routes. KLM is also planning to increase the use of connecting and feeder trains instead of airplanes on short routes.

But such offers are still the exception rather than the rule. And when combining train and flight, there can often be complications - in the event of delays, cancellations or rebooking, for example. The world aviation association Iata now wants to remedy the situation.

One ticket, many differences

Last week (January 30th) Iata signed a letter of intent with the international rail association Uic. Both organizations would like to work together to develop new standards that will make it easier for passengers to link flights and train journeys in the future. Specifically, it should be about a seamless exchange of passenger data between airlines and railway companies, which should make it easier for them to combine train and air travel in the future.

With the collaboration, the Iata and the Uic want to investigate, according to a communication, how travel planning and the purchase of tickets and reservations can be simplified. It is also examined how many standards in both industries can be standardized. There are different codings in air and train traffic, for example for locations. But the handling of legal aspects or operational disruptions is also different in both areas.