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NTSB TO HOLD SYMPOSIUM ON AIRLINE CODE-SHARING ARRANGEMENTS AND THEIR ROLE IN AVIATION SAFETY

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NTSB TO HOLD SYMPOSIUM ON AIRLINE CODE-SHARING ARRANGEMENTS AND THEIR ROLE IN AVIATION SAFETY

National Transportation Safety Board
Washington, DC 20594
August 16, 2010

The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a two-day symposium on the role that airline code-sharing arrangements play in aviation safety. The event, chaired by NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman, will be held on October 26-27, 2010, in Washington, DC.

Code-sharing is a marketing arrangement in which one airline places its designator code on a flight operated by another airline, then sells and issues tickets for that flight.

Recent NTSB investigations of accident flights operated under code-sharing arrangements include the February 2009 accident near Buffalo, New York, in which a Colgan Air flight was operated as Continental Connection; a 2007 accident in Traverse City, Michigan, in which a Pinnacle Airlines flight was operated as Northwest Airlink; a 2007 accident in Cleveland, Ohio, in which a Shuttle America flight was operated as Delta Connection; and a 2006 accident in Lexington, Kentucky, in which a Comair flight was operated as Delta Connection.

Today, most airlines participate in some type of code- sharing arrangement, either with domestic or international partners. More than half of passenger enplanements in the U.S. this year are on regional airlines, almost all of which are involved in code-sharing arrangements.

“In the past twenty years, code-sharing arrangements have so proliferated within commercial aviation that today the vast majority of airlines are involved in what are often complex business and operational arrangements.” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “We have investigated many accidents in which passengers bought tickets on a major carrier and flew all or part of their trip on a different carrier – one that may have been operating to different safety standards than the carrier that issued the ticket. While all carriers are required to meet minimum standards, a clearer picture and deeper understanding of the best safety practices for code-sharing arrangements are the goals of this symposium.”

The symposium will be organized to elicit information on the following three issue areas: (1) structures, practices, and oversight of domestic and international code-sharing arrangements; (2) best practices regarding the sharing of safety information between airlines and their code-sharing partners; and (3) the role that a major airline would have in the family disaster assistance response for an accident involving a code-sharing partner.

These areas will be explored through presentations from major and regional airlines, industry organizations, and representatives of the traveling public.

The symposium, “Airline Code-Sharing Arrangements and Their Role in Aviation Safety” will be held at the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center, located at 429 L’Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, DC. A detailed agenda will be released closer to the date of the event.

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