Codesharing is a fairly common practice, particularly among members of airline alliances. However, British low-cost carrier easyJet, as is often the case with many budget airlines, does not belong to such an alliance. As such, its partnerships are comparatively limited. However, it did briefly enter a codeshare agreement with Russian carrier Transaero. Let’s take a look at how this agreement worked, and why it came to an end after just two years.
easyJet’s first codeshare
The codeshare agreement with Saint Petersburg-based Transaero was the first of its kind entered by easyJet. The Russian carrier announced the deal, which would see it sell selected seats on each of easyJet’s flights between Russia and the UK, in September 2013.
At this time, the tickets on the codeshare flights were available at Transaero’s sales offices. They later became available at travel agents. These services commenced on October 27th, 2013. Transaero’s CEO at the time, Olga Pleshakova, stated that:
“We are glad to welcome the launch of the commercial cooperation with easyJet that will offer more choices for our passengers on the Moscow-London route. In addition to our own services from Moscow Vnukovo airport to Heathrow airport, Transaero Airlines will allow our passengers to get to London’s Gatwick airport from Transaero’s base airport with an extensive route network – Moscow Domodedovo airport.”
The flights in question
When easyJet flew to Moscow Domodedovo, it did so from London Gatwick and Manchester, according to anna.aero. However, only flights on the former of these routes were part of the codeshare deal. They ran under joint easyJet/Transaero (U2/UN) flight numbers.
The agreement covered two flights in each direction. It was seen as a mutually beneficial enterprise that would allow easyJet and Transaero customers greater connectivity between their networks. Catherine Lynn, easyJet’s Group Commercial Director, stated:
“We are pleased to be working with Transaero and look forward to welcoming many new customers onboard easyJet flights. We now operate two services per day between Moscow Domodedovo and London Gatwick using our fleet of modern Airbus aircraft which are amongst the youngest in Europe. London Gatwick (…) provides access to easyJet’s wider network of 100 destinations across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.”
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Terminated after two years
The prospect of easyJet’s first-ever codeshare agreement was certainly an exciting one. However, it, unfortunately, did not prove to be a long-term deal. It came to an end after two years in October 2015, albeit due to factors out of easyJet’s control.
Specifically, this was when Transaero ceased operations after filing for bankruptcy that month. As such, easyJet’s only partnership at present is not a codeshare, but rather a reward miles sharing program with UAE flag carrier Emirates. As for its flights to Moscow, these ceased the next year, in 2016. Bloomberg reported that this was due to decreasing demand.
Did you know about easyJet’s codeshare with Transaero? Perhaps you even traveled on one of the Luton-based airline’s codeshared UK-Russia flights yourself? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.