LONDON, June 1, 2009 – Today SkyTeam announced that the first level of its first ever co-branded alliance lounge in Terminal 4 at London Heathrow International Airport (LHR) opens on Thursday, June 4. The two-level lounge occupies more than 1,600 square meters and offers space for more than 300 passengers. Jointly designed by the nine member and associate airlines serving Heathrow, the lounge offers customers a superior airport experience that combines the comfort and convenience passengers have come to expect with luxurious amenities such as a wine bar, oxygen bar and full-body massage chairs.
Opening the first level of the lounge marks a significant step forward in the development of a sophisticated customer-focused presence for SkyTeam at Heathrow Terminal 4. Work on the second level of the lounge will be completed in November in conjunction with the grand opening of the dedicated alliance facility, which will include a premium check-in area for first and business class passengers and SkyTeam Elite passengers, as well as common-use self service kiosks and additional bag drop-off locations.
Eligible passengers traveling through Terminal 4 at London Heathrow on Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Kenya Airways operated flights can enjoy access to the first level of the co-branded SkyTeam lounge. Other eligible passengers will gain access once additional SkyTeam member airlines begin operating from Terminal 4. Until then, eligible SkyTeam passengers can enjoy two airline lounges in Terminal 2 at London Heathrow.
“Today is extremely significant for SkyTeam as we become one step closer to transforming Terminal 4 at London Heathrow into the first-ever airport facility truly centered around the alliance and its passengers,” said Francesca Freeland, lead for the SkyTeam Heathrow Airport team. “We have succeeded in creating a lounge with enhanced customer benefits that brings our ‘Caring More About You’ philosophy to life and unifies our member airlines’ cultures to strengthen our customers’ connection with the alliance.”
Open from 5:30 a.m. until the departure of the last flight in the evening, the premium lounge is located opposite Gate 10 in Terminal 4 of London Heathrow and provides a respite for all international first and business class passengers, as well as SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers traveling through the airport terminal.
SkyTeam has taken advantage of the latest in design technology to create a ‘home-away-from-home’ for passengers awaiting departure out of Terminal 4 – a place to work, relax, dine or catch up on reading. The first level of the lounge includes a wide range of features such as reception and standard airline service desk areas, an entertainment center including computer games and a wide selection of international newspapers and magazines, as well as luggage storage. Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access is available throughout the facility and passengers can take advantage of dedicated business areas with three personal computers and two work stations.
Designed by Brandimage – Desgrippes & Laga, the concept of the new lounge invokes SkyTeam’s brand identity through a look that is modern, welcoming and expressive of movement. From the lighting and furniture to the walls and circular wine bar, the lounge was designed entirely in fluid, curved forms with no angles.
The lounge offers passengers a space that presents both privacy and stimulus to help transform their stay into a unique experience. The space features a wine bar stocked with a variety of French, Italian and Australian wines as well as Champagne (served from 5:00 p.m. until close). Visitors can choose from a selection of hot and cold menus inspired by the national and regional cuisines of all nine SkyTeam carriers’ servicing Heathrow. Initial menus offer dishes based on popular French, Russian, Italian and American fare, and SkyTeam plans to update the menu seasonally for added variety.
The premium lounge was designed to offer customers a superior experience that meets their individual needs. To enhance this experience, the alliance included an indoor living wall designed by botanist Patrick Blanc. Composed of more than 60 different species of plants that have been hand-selected to adapt to the climate conditions of the lounge, the living wall is like a vertical “jungle” that, thanks to a unique method of cultivating plants, grows without any soil. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the living wall acts as an air purification system that naturally cleanses the air visitors breathe throughout the lounge.
Passengers can also enjoy added rest and relaxation at the wellness center, which offers five showers, two full-body massage chairs and an oxygen bar. For added serenity, the oxygen bar offers passengers 10-minute sessions of pure oxygen including a choice of individual flavored scents like citrus or pure air. SkyTeam plans to add more therapeutic services such as moisturizing facials and neck and shoulder massages; however these services will not be available until the second phase of the lounge is completed in November.
Also scheduled to open in November, the second level of the lounge will include two VIP rooms – one with seating for 14 guests and another with space for three to four guests. These rooms, available for first class passengers and specially invited guests only, will feature extra-wide chairs and exclusive beverage offerings. The second level will also include a quiet room equipped with four day beds for sleep or relaxation as well as a separate children’s area with games and television. The second level of the lounge is on track to open in November 2009.
The dedicated SkyTeam facility at Terminal 4 at London Heathrow is the first of its kind for the alliance, and SkyTeam continues to investigate opportunities to pursue similar co-location strategies at other airports across the globe.
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.1 www.skyteam.com.
1 Figures as of August 2008