SkyTeam has said it is looking forward to enhancing its customer offering and increasing its presence at London Heathrow International Airport next month as the EU-U.S. open skies agreement takes effect. “SkyTeam applauds the progress made with the first-stage transatlantic Open Skies agreement between the EU and the U.S,” said Leo van Wijk, chairman of the SkyTeam Governing Board. “We are pro-competition and strongly believe that greater liberalization in the aviation industry opens up new opportunities for travelers, as well as airlines and their employees.”
As of March 30, 2008, SkyTeam travelers will have access to more route and flight options than ever before. The alliance will offer in total 11 new daily frequencies through eight new nonstop routes - never before available to passengers traveling within the SkyTeam network - between the U.S. and LHR, including:
? Daily service to and from Los Angeles (operated by Air France with Delta codesharing);
? Twice-daily service to Houston (operated by Continental);
? Daily service to Atlanta (operated by Delta with Air France codesharing);
? Service to New York (twice-daily service to John F. Kennedy International (JFK) operated by Delta with Air France codesharing and twice-daily service to Newark Liberty International (EWR) operated by Continental); and
? Daily service to Detroit, Minneapolis, and Seattle (operated by Northwest with KLM codesharing).
At this time, SkyTeam’s U.S. carriers - Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines - will begin serving LHR, the first U.S. airlines to gain new entry to the airport for the first time since 1991. SkyTeam members Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, Czech Airlines, KLM and Korean Air already serve the UK gateway hub. At the start of their service to LHR, Continental, Delta and Northwest will join KLM and Kenya Airways in Terminal 4.
SkyTeam U.S. carriers with current service to London Gatwick airport (LGW) will continue to serve the airport with direct transatlantic routes. Additionally, members Air France and KLM will continue serving London City Airport (LCY).