MILAN, April 1, 2009 – SkyTeam today announced new initiatives that include a new alliance organization, a new managing director, a new fare pass, a timeline for the opening of its co-located facility at London Heathrow Terminal 4, and the debut of the first plane with the new alliance livery. The alliance released the news in conjunction with a press briefing in Milan by the SkyTeam Steering Committee following its quarterly meeting. The SkyTeam alliance has a large presence in Milan, with service offered by Alitalia, the only airline to serve all three airports in Milan; Aeroflot, Air France, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and Korean Air.
Leo van Wijk, chairman of the SkyTeam Governing Board, announced that SkyTeam is moving toward a centralized SkyTeam management entity. The new organization will be based in Amsterdam. Some of the functions that will be handled by the central organization include: marketing, sales, airport synergies and transfer product, cargo, advertising and brand, alliance operations, finance, corporate communications and alliance administration.
“In SkyTeam, we have always prided ourselves on our collaborative nature; however, given the changing landscape and the increased number of alliance members, we decided to adopt an organizational structure that allows us to navigate market realities more effectively,” said Mr. van Wijk. “Given the opportunity for maximizing synergies and providing passengers seamless benefits, SkyTeam is positioning itself for today, as well as looking toward the future.”
Mr. van Wijk also revealed that Marie-Joseph Malé has been appointed the managing director of SkyTeam’s newly created management and support organization. Mr. Malé, who has extensive experience with Air France in the Commercial and International areas, will be responsible for finalizing the organizational structure of SkyTeam, including the appointment of a management team.
In liaison with the Governing Board and the Steering Committee, Mr. Malé’s primary duties will include refining the organization and procedures for the new central structure, as well as the interaction between the central structure and existing SkyTeam experts within each member carrier; developing a plan to recruit staff; and establishing plans to support alliance development. The goal is to have the structure and management team in place by late 2009.
“Since its founding almost nine years ago, SkyTeam has evolved tremendously – in terms of members, network, and product and service offerings,” Mr. Malé said. “My main objective is to maintain the level of collaboration that helped the alliance achieve so much, but also ensure that the alliance is nimble and ready to act on future opportunities.”
Unveiling the SkyTeam Livery
Also in Milan, SkyTeam debuted its new alliance livery as Delta Air Lines flight 74 from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport touched down at Milan’s Malpensa Airport displaying the SkyTeam colors. Designed by Brandimage-Desgrippes & Laga, the SkyTeam livery blueprint was inspired by the logo, which aims to express the ideals of both strength and service through a ribbon graphic. The design includes these features:
For images of the livery, please visit skyteam.com.
All SkyTeam member airlines have committed to paint at least one aircraft with the new SkyTeam livery by the end of this year. The planes will enter service in graduated phases throughout the course of 2009.
SkyTeam to Offer Italy Pass
The alliance also announced that passengers traveling to Italy on intercontinental round-trip tickets will soon be able to take advantage of the new SkyTeam Italy Pass and benefit from discounted flight coupons on Alitalia and AirOne domestic flights. Sold outside Italy and Europe, the SkyTeam Italy Pass will require a minimum purchase of three one-way flight coupons for a minimum of two stopovers within Italy. The Italy Pass aims to foster both business and leisure traffic to Italy from intercontinental SkyTeam flights, helping grow domestic routes served by Alitalia.
Update on SkyTeam at London Heathrow
The alliance also provided a brief update regarding its plans for a co-located facility in Terminal 4 of London’s Heathrow Airport. Working with BAA, SkyTeam is making significant progress on the renovations in the check-in area and its first branded lounge. The first level of the lounge is slated to open in June of this year, with the second level scheduled to open in conjunction with the final member airline moves and the completion of the facility, currently forseen in November.
“The Heathrow project is an exciting endeavor for the alliance, an opportunity to truly blend the member airlines’ cultures and brand identities to strengthen our customers’ connection with SkyTeam,” said Francesca Freeland, lead for the SkyTeam Heathrow Airport team.
SkyTeam is the global airline alliance partnering ten members, including Aeroflot, Aeroméxico, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern, Continental Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Korean Air, and three Associate Airlines: Air Europa, Copa Airlines (Panama) and Kenya Airways. SkyTeam offers its 462 million annual passengers a worldwide system of more than 16,700 daily flights covering 905 destinations in 169 countries. www.skyteam.com.
Summer 2009 data (OAG files for week of June 22, 2009)
Serving 45 destinations (out of which 32 « unique », not served by the main competing group)
Out of Malpensa : 26 destinations
Out of Linate : 24 destinations
Did you know...? SkyTeam is offering full meta search capabilities now. Go to flights.skyteam.com and try our new trip planning tool.