Codeshare Fact Sheet

Codesharing 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 Air Lines 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 Air Lines.

Most airlines, including all City Pair Program contract carriers participate in some type of commercial codeshare 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 codeshare 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 codeshare partners offered by the contract carrier. In international markets, the contract carrier will make available all services on offered codeshare partner(s) proposed on a market-by-market basis. If a codeshare partner is offered and no specific market is identified, the contract carrier will make available all service on the offered codeshare partner in all awarded markets where the codeshare 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 codeshare 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 codeshare partner, the contract fares would be available on both flights.

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

  • International - codeshares 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 Airways (ANA). As United submitted ANA as a codeshare 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 codeshare by ANA.
  • International - codeshares on all markets: If United had offered ANA as a codeshare 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 codeshare by ANA. In addition, the contract fares would be available on all awarded city pairs where flights are operated by ANA for United.
  • International - codeshares on no markets: United has the contract award, but did not submit ANA as a codeshare 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 codeshare 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 codeshare flights if the codeshare carrier was not offered by the contract carrier. Below is the list of codeshare partners' service offered by the contract carriers.

Questions regarding codesharing can be directed to travel.programs@gsa.gov.

Codeshare Documents

Last Reviewed: 2021-09-29