SkyTeam NewsFlash – May 2009

SkyTeam, the global airline alliance partnering ten members – including Aeroflot, Aeroméxico, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern Airlines, Continental Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Korean Air – and three Associate carriers – Air Europa, Copa Airlines and Kenya Airways – sets itself apart by offering an exclusive experience for all passengers. Issued monthly, SkyTeam NewsFlash provides media with key updates and insights on alliance activities.

SkyTeam Provides Updates on the Departure of Continental and Copa Airlines

As has been shared previously, SkyTeam member Continental Airlines and Associate Airline Copa Airlines have made the business decision to depart SkyTeam this autumn. Alliance members are working closely to ensure the transition is handled in a timely and responsible manner and that minimal changes occur to the standard SkyTeam passenger experience during the transition period.

SkyTeam is committed to ongoing communication with passengers to alleviate uncertainty and maintaining open lines of communication.

Following are answers to some frequently asked questions from our passengers.

Q: Is October 24, 2009 Continental’s confirmed departure date? Is Copa Airlines departing on the same day?

A: Yes, both Continental Airlines and Copa Airlines will exit SkyTeam following their last scheduled flights on October 24, 2009. After this date, both Continental and Copa will no longer be SkyTeam members.

Q: What happens on October 24, 2009?

A: In addition to being Continental’s and Copa’s last day with SkyTeam, October 24, 2009 is the last day:

  • For SkyTeam customers to earn frequent flyer miles on Continental/Copa operated flights or for OnePass members to earn miles on other SkyTeam member-operated flights: Frequent flyer members will continue to earn miles on all eligible flights through October 24, 2009.
  • For SkyTeam customers to redeem frequent flyer miles on Continental/Copa operated flights or for OnePass members to redeem miles on other SkyTeam member-operated flights: Award itineraries booked and ticketed on or before October 24, 2009 will be valid for one year from the date of issue.
  • For SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus status to be recognized by Continental/Copa or for OnePass Silver, Gold and Platinum members to have their status recognized as SkyTeam Elite or Elite Plus: Frequent flyer members will have their elite status recognized on all flights through October 24, 2009.
  • For reciprocal lounge access: Eligible SkyTeam passengers, including SkyTeam Elite Plus members, can access Continental’s 26 Presidents Clubs through October 24, 2009. Eligible Continental and Copa passengers, including OnePass Platinum Elite members, can access the more than 400 other SkyTeam member airline lounges through October 24, 2009.

Q: What is happening now to prepare for October 25, 2009?

A: SkyTeam has teams working on the transition process. Most of the work is happening “behind the scenes.” For example, teams are working on IT issues, as well as phasing out codeshares between Continental and other SkyTeam members. As a few codeshares are phased out, passengers booking tickets may notice some difference in flight options, but otherwise will experience few “front of the scene” changes in the interim. Copa Airlines will maintain its codeshare agreements with KLM and Aeroméxico.

Q: If I belong to another SkyTeam member frequent flyer program how long will I be able to earn miles on SkyTeam partners? Redeem miles for award tickets? Have my status recognized?

A: Frequent flyer members will continue to earn miles and have their elite status recognized on all Continental and Copa flights through October 24, 2009. Award itineraries booked and ticketed on or before October 24, 2009 will be valid for one year from the date of issue.

Q I have an award ticket on Continental using miles from another SkyTeam member airline frequent flier program. Will my ticket still be valid?

A: Yes, award itineraries booked and ticketed on or before October 24, 2009 will be valid for one year from the date of issue. Passengers may continue to book award tickets through October 24, 2009 for travel through October 24, 2010.

Q: If I am a OnePass member, can I transfer my existing OnePass miles to another SkyTeam member airline program?

A: No, OnePass miles are not transferable to another program. Except in certain circumstances, frequent flyer miles are generally not transferable from one airline frequent flyer program to another.

Q: How do other SkyTeam airlines plan to serve destinations currently served solely by Continental or Copa?

A: SkyTeam has a robust route network and only a small number of destinations served by Continental and Copa are not currently served by another member airline. For example, Aeroméxico, Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM serve multiple Latin American destinations from North America and Europe. In addition, SkyTeam members continue to explore options such as new service, and as a whole, the alliance is considering new members in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region to provide more options for our passengers.

Q: What else should passengers be aware of?

A: SkyTeam has teams working behind the scenes on the transition. In the short-term, changes to the standard passenger experience will be minimal. SkyTeam will provide updates and additional information as it becomes available.

Q: What else is going on with SkyTeam?

A: Although SkyTeam has teams working on the transition to ensure it is handled in a timely and responsible manner, the alliance is also focused on new and exciting initiatives such as:

The finalization of the new centralized structure following the appointment of managing director Mr. Marie-Joseph Malé on April 1, 2009

Working with Vietnam Airlines as it continues progress toward full membership into the alliance

Planning for the opening of the first level of SkyTeam’s co-branded lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4 in June 2009

SkyTeam customers in the U.S. and globally will continue to enjoy the high-quality service they have come to know and expect from SkyTeam alliance members during and after this transition.