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Code Share Fact Sheet

Code sharing is a commercial agreement between two airlines that allows an airline to put its two-letter identification code on the flights of another airline as they appear in computerized reservations systems. For example, Delta Airlines might have an agreement to operate flights for United Airlines on a route. This flight would be listed under United’s identification code (UA) but actually operated by Delta Airlines.

Most airlines, including all City Pair Program contract carriers, participate in some type of commercial code-share agreement. These agreements allow carriers to expand their service offerings without additional resources, equipment and costs. Due to these business agreements, many of the carriers cannot legally obligate their code-share partners' inventories for YCA (unrestricted) contract fares.

In domestic markets, all of a contract carrier's service is available to the government with additional service only on code share partners offered by the contract carrier. In international markets, the contract carrier will make available all services on offered code share partner(s) proposed on a market-by-market basis. If a code share partner is offered and no specific market is identified, the contract carrier will make available all service on the offered code share partner in all awarded markets where the code share exists. Below we have noted some examples for illustration purposes only:

For domestic markets, below are two scenarios for the same City Pair, Washington/Oklahoma City:

  • Delta has the contract award. Delta has two flights, both shown as "Delta" in the reservation systems. One flight is operated on a Delta plane; the other is listed as a Delta flight actually operated by United. As Delta did not offer United as a code share partner to the City Pair Program, the contract fares are available only on the flight operated by Delta.
  • If Delta had offered United as a code share partner, the contract fares would be available on both flights.

For international markets, code shares are by specific market. Below are three scenarios for the same City Pair, New York/Tokyo:

  • International - code shares by specific markets: United has the contract award. United has two flights, both shown as "United" in the reservation systems. One flight is on a United plane, the other is listed as a United flight actually operated by All Nippon (ANA). As United submitted ANA as a code share for this market, the contract fares are available on United flights operated by ANA on this city pair. On any other City Pair, the contract fares will be available only on United flights operated by United, not on those operated as a code share by ANA.
  • International - code shares on all markets: If United had offered ANA as a code share partner, the contract fares would be available on both flights, on the flight operated by United as well as on the one operated as a code share by ANA. In addition, the contract fares would be available on all awarded city pairs where flights are operated by ANA for United.
  • International - code shares on no markets: United has the contract award, but did not submit All Nippon Airways (ANA) as a code partner for the City Pair Program. United has two flights, both shown as "United" in the reservation systems. One flight is on a United plane, the other is listed as a United flight actually operated by (ANA). As United did not submit ANA as a code share for the City Pair fares, the contract fares will be available only on the flight operated by United. Contract fares will not price on the code share flights if the code share carrier was not offered by the contract carrier. Attached is the list of code share partners' service offered by the contract carriers. Questions regarding code sharing can be directed to travelprograms@gsa.gov.
Name Format Size
FY15 Domestic & International Code Shares Word 24.5 KB
FY14 Domestic & International Code Shares PDF 75K
FY13 Domestic Code Shares Word 16K
FY13 International Code Shares Word 287K
FY12 Domestic Code Shares Word 106K
FY12 International Code Shares Word 34K
FY11 Domestic Code Shares Word 113K
FY11 International Code Shares Word 393K

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