Thursday, October 18, 2012

Air Rail Alliances

Royal Jordanian signed a code share agreement with Via Rail Canada providing passengers with a rail link beyond Montreal to Toronto and Ottawa, the first code share for Via Rail. Tickets can be purchased from RJ's website, offices or travel agents. Via Rail offers wi-fi and meals onboard (within the fare if travelling business while snacks and drinks are sold in economy). I have travelled on via-rail several times and it is a nice experience that allows one to see the countryside up close. 

Exciting, but Air Rail link ups are nothing new and are common with Deutsche Bahn, SNCF, SBB and a few others. 

They go under different programs mainly (for more details click here):
"Dedicated Services" similar to Code Sharing covering certain destinations;
"Entire Network Access" which is service that includes the entire train network. Deutsche Bahn offers this from 16 German airports to almost every carrier that flies into Germany with 10 carriers having Rail & Fly on their website;
"Night & Fly" which is an agreement between Swiss International Airlines and City Night Line providing overnight trips to 10 cities in Switzerland, Netherlands and Germany; and finally
"Airline-Rail Re-protection" agreements which provide train travel in cases of flight cancellations, Via Rail and Air Canada and between Deutsche Bahn and Lufthansa and Airberlin which came in handy during the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland.

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