SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, has nominated Leo van Wijk chairman of its Governing Board. SkyTeam made the announcement in conjunction with its annual Governing Board meeting in Vancouver. Mr. van Wijk, who was instrumental in architecting KLM Royal Dutch Airline’s entrance into SkyTeam, is currently vice chairman of the Air France-KLM Board of Directors. Until early July, Mr. van Wijk will serve as president and chief executive officer of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, a position he has held for nearly a decade.
“I am pleased with the opportunity to serve as the chairman of the SkyTeam Governing Board. I am excited to drive forward our initiatives and priorities for the year, welcome new members and Associate Airlines, and continue our success through the strong collaboration of the ten current alliance members,” Mr. van Wijk said during a press briefing.
The Governing Board, consisting of the Chairman and CEO of each member airline, functions as the central strategy and decision-making body of the alliance. In his role as Chairman of the Governing Board, Mr. van Wijk will be the premier spokesperson for the alliance. SkyTeam will continue to rely on the joint efforts of its ten member airlines for the day-to-day management of the alliance.
Mr. van Wijk emphasized the alliance’s focus on improving the reciprocity of Frequent Flyer Programs, SkyTeam’s co-location policy at airports, notably at London Heathrow International Airport, and the membership process for new Alliance partners and associate members.
SkyTeam has already made steps toward anticipated network growth in key markets this year, as the global airline alliance readies for the addition of China Southern and three Associate airlines - Air Europa, Copa and Kenya Airways - later in 2007.