Copenhagen Airport hosted the annual Interline Conference, at which all airlines operating to Copenhagen Airport meet and negotiate partnerships regarding passengers and tickets.
"The Interline Conference is one of the most concrete steps taken by CPH to create the best possible collaboration among the airlines, to strengthen the airport as a hub and, not least, to create the best possible options for passengers," said Ole Wieth Christensen, Director of Airline Sales and Route Development for Copenhagen Airport.
"The feedback we've received from the airlines that attended is very positive: it's a real win-win situation for everyone," he added.
Collaboration makes for good travel experiences
The pivotal aspect of the conference is collaboration: small Nordic airlines need good agreements with larger airlines in order to offer their passengers trips beyond Copenhagen on a single ticket.
Large airlines also need agreements with small Nordic airlines so they can encourage as many passengers as possible to fly into Copenhagen and then on to another destination on one ticket.
In the great majority of cases, passengers prefer to buy a single ticket and check their baggage through to their final destination, also if they start out in Helsinki and fly Blue1 to Copenhagen, for example, and then change both flight and airline to travel on Egyptair to Cairo.
"As a small Scandinavian airline, Blue1 is not widely known to the big airlines, so it's important that we land new agreements that will make it much easier for our passengers to travel beyond Copenhagen. If Blue1 doesn't have the right agreements, then they won't pop up as an option when people buy tickets online," said Thomas Sandman, Price Manager for Blue1.
A strong network is good business
CPH is one of the first airports in the world to arrange a "speed-dating" event like this for airlines. And it is a brilliant idea, said Dr. Mohammed Abdelrazek, Country Manager for Egyptair:
"It provides an excellent opportunity for us to strengthen our network – literally. We held three very constructive meetings about future partnerships during the conference.”
Air China, a carrier opening a new Beijing-Copenhagen service in June, held nine meetings and concluded a number of new agreements on joint tickets and transfers.
"It's simply a great idea to bring a lot of airlines together so we can get ready to sign interline agreements," said Air China supervisor Lijie He.
"When we open our route in June, the idea is not just to fly lots of Chinese to Copenhagen or via Copenhagen: the traffic goes both ways. In other words, the more Scandinavians who can fly to Copenhagen to connect to our flights to China, the better."