IL Agreements and pax demand

Curious about the specifics of pax demand and IL agreements.  It's hard to tell at what point your IL agreements are doing more harm than good.  One thing I've been uncertain about is the priority of pax when it comes to IL agreements.  When all things are equal do your pax show any preference to your airline or does it always come down to ORS?  If I'm building a route network from my hub but have an IL with someone else in my hub do my pax prefer to stay on my own aircraft or do they simply take the cheapest seat or higher ORS?  I'm debating whether I should cancel my IL request with others in my base that server more destinations than I do.  I'm going to start expanding more internationally so I can always feed my routes with international pax.


if you only have one partner per city then you can make a very educated guess whether or not the IL is worth your money.

go to the office page of the city for the partner in question, look at the transfer statistics. since you know the total number of pax you transport in and out you have a very good idea on how many pax you get from that partner. now look how much you pay for that IL. now you know the minimum profits you have to make off every pax to make it worthwhile.

it is not 100% presice as there are other factors but it’s close enough.

regarding the demand distribution: everythin including company image and such is included in the final ORS rating for a connection (not single leg). demand is being distributed relatively to ORS ratings. this means even with a rating of 1 you might get a pax every once in awhile even if there is strong competition, but it’s nothing to live off.

and last but not least: personally, I believe partnering up at a common hub is a very strong tool, IF…!!!

this only works in your benefit if you actually work as one airline, so coordination on all levels of service and scheduling is a prequisite. That, however, is my opinion. I generally proceed a rather restrictive interlining policy as I believe it to be economically advisable

If you build a really good hub, then you'll actually get most of your transfer passengers from your own airline. You can also take a look at the Flight Information page to see how many passengers are "from external feeder" vs "from own feeder" and how many passengers are going "to ext. connection" vs. "to own connection". I usually get more than twice as much passengers from my own feeders and to my own connections than from my interline partners because of my own scheduling. But I'm not really concerned about how much I'm paying for interline agreement as long as my airplanes are filling up. A full flight gives you the profit you want.

... do my pax prefer to stay on my own aircraft or do they simply take the cheapest seat or higher ORS? 


Passengers check the ORS. If you talk about interlining, you are talking about transfer flights. Then the product rating of the two flights and the total time of the two flights will decide the overall rating of the two flights.

So passengers do not prefer to stay with your airline, they don't prefer to stay with your IL partner, they don't buy the cheapest seat... they simply prefer the best overall ORS rating.

If you interline with another airline in your hub, the ORS will consider your two networks as one big network. So it is on both your interest to spread flights. If your IL partner flies to airport X at 06:00hrs and 18:00hrs, you should fly at 12:00hrs and at midnight. Then every flight to/from airport X will connect to every other flight in your combined networks.

As for the ratings... you will get the best results if both your airlines have flights with high ORS ratings. If one of the two airlines has low ORS ratings, the other airline may think he will get a bigger share of the passengers. Perhaps he will. But in reality there are a dozen other airlines who also fly between airport A and B, via their own hub. If that dozen other airlines has higher ratings, it is them who will get the bigger share of passengers  ;-)