"...many people would like to take advantage of a single booking from their nearest train station to a host of destinations across the world.”
The Dubai based airline Emirates, has partnered with French National Railway Company, SNCF to develop a new codeshare partnership which enables the airline’s passengers from around the world to travel to 19 new destinations across France on just one ticket. Codesharing is typically found in the aviation industry where a marketing arrangement is created with an airline placing its designator code on a flight operated by another airline and selling tickets for that flight in order to strengthen or expand their market presence and competitive ability. This is now being seen in an intermodal form in partnerships with the rail industry. This kind of link-up between airlines and rail lines, known formally as air-rail alliance or informally ‘Rail & Fly’ are increasingly popular.
The codeshare partnership, announced this week offers travellers, with just one easy-to-book ticket, the opportunity to fly on Emirates and reach some of France’s most beautiful regions and cities including Aix en Provence and Poitiers using high speed TGV trains that leave directly from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. “This codeshare agreement with SNCF opens up new possibilities for our passengers and complements our current services to Paris, Lyon and Nice. With TGV Air, travelling to the Far East from Bordeaux, or to Strasbourg from Dubai has never been easier," commented Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.
"Emirates already flies more than 1.2 million passengers to and from France every year. With TGV Air, we’re connecting French regions to our global network and facilitating inbound and outbound traffic” added Antinori.
Other Rail & Fly partnerships on continental Europe include Jet Airways and Thalys in Belgium and Deutsche Bahn and Lufthansa with their ‘AIRail train’ initiative. 2014 saw the first relationship like this in the UK with the partnership between Singapore Airlines, Heathrow Express and First Great Western. Mark Hopwood, First Great Western Managing Director, said on the announcement of the deal: “Whether you are a businessman travelling to a meeting or a family going on holiday, many people would like to take advantage of a single booking from their nearest station to a host of destinations across the world.”
See also: Train or plane? How innovation is giving rail the edge in the battle for passenger spend. , Industry focus: Designing a better passenger experience. and SmartRail Speaks: Christian Schang, Project Director, SNCF INFRA