SkyTeam is a global airline alliance partnering nine members – Aeroflot, Aeroméxico, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta, KLM and Korean Air - and two Associate carriers - Air Europa and Kenya Airways. Issued bi-monthly, the SkyTeam NewsFlash provides media with key updates and insights on alliance activities.
SkyTeam growing in China
Several developments in 2010 show SkyTeam's ever-expanding network in China. If there is a city that clearly represents the explosive momentum that China is experiencing, it is Shanghai. The EXPO 2010 SHANGHAI, held between 01 May and 31 October, is the city's largest event of the year and reaffirms Shanghai's position as a key international gateway to Asia in the 21st century. SkyTeam contributes to this boom by bringing people from all continents to this vibrant metropolis. The city is also the home of intended future SkyTeam member China Eastern Airlines, the official carrier for the Expo.
SkyTeam customers worldwide will benefit from greater access to China since several current members increased capacity to vital destinations. Aeroméxico upholds its position as the only airline in Latin America offering customers regular and direct flights to Asia. The airline reinstated service between Shanghai and Mexico City in March. The Shanghai - Mexico City route was originally introduced in May 2008 as part of the airline's strategic expansion of its operations in Asia. After a temporary suspension, and just in time for the Expo, Aeroméxico is excited to have resumed the service.
Delta Air Lines increases capacity on flights between Detroit and Shanghai from five to seven times a week, starting in June 2010. At the same time, Delta is strengthening its transpacific offer by adding new flights between Seattle and Beijing and between Detroit and Hong Kong to its network.
Another important Chinese destination was recently added to the SkyTeam network when KLM Royal Dutch Airlines launched a scheduled service between Amsterdam and Hangzhou on 8 May 2010. KLM is the first airline to offer direct service between Hangzhou and Europe. Hangzhou is the capital of the province Zhejiang, which, together with the neighbouring province Fujian, is home to more than 80 million people.
Vietnam Airlines and TAROM on track to become members in June
SkyTeam is looking forward to welcoming two new members in June, Vietnam Airlines and TAROM Romanian Air Transport. Both airlines are working with a team of SkyTeam member airlines to guide them through over 100 membership requirements, ranging from technical communication links, recognition of Frequent Flyer Programs, lounge access and priority baggage handling. At the moment both airlines are audited and need to demonstrate fulfillment and understanding of the requirements to deliver the SkyTeam customer service standards. Both airlines are well on track to pass the audit successfully. After the SkyTeam Governing Board has officially approved their membership, both airlines will celebrate with a joining ceremony. Vietnam Airlines will officially join SkyTeam on 10 June in Hanoi, while TAROM's entry into the alliance is scheduled on 25 June in Bucharest.
For more information: SkyTeam Public Relations, +31 (0)20 - 3333064