Air France and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) today announced they will reinstate their codeshare agreement with SkyTeam partner Korean Air on flights between Korea, France and the United States beginning April 1, 2002 for Air France and May 1, 2002 for Delta.
Paul G. Matsen, Delta’s senior vice president-International & Alliances, said, “We are pleased that Korean Air has met and fully complied with all applicable International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety and service standards. By its actions, Korean Air has demonstrated a commitment to safety. We believe that Korean Air, like Air France and Delta, is committed to operating as a world-class airline that puts the safety and security of its passengers and employees first.”
Beginning May 1, Delta will start codesharing on Korean Air flights from New York (JFK), Los Angeles, Washington (Dulles), Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, Honolulu and San Francisco to Seoul (Incheon), South Korea, and from Los Angeles to Narita, Japan. Delta will also codeshare on Korean Air flights from Seoul to Osaka and Narita, Japan. Within Korea, Delta will codeshare on flights to Busan. Effective May 21, when Korean Air inaugurates nonstop Incheon to Atlanta service, Delta will add its code to these flights.
Korean Air’s Executive Vice President Jong Hee Lee says, “Korean Air has committed to operating as a world-class airline that puts safety first. Air France and Delta validate our hard work.”
“When we resume codesharing with Korean Air, Air France will be able to offer its customers new services between Paris and Seoul and eventually additional code share flights beyond Seoul to the Far East and the Pacific,” said Patrick Bianquis, Air France’s alliances vice president. “Korean Air then will be fully integrated into the SkyTeam network that centers on powerful hubs: Atlanta, the world’s largest airport; Paris-CDG, Europe’s leading hub; and Seoul-Incheon, which has the greatest potential among Asian hubs.”
Delta’s Matsen said, “Using the new Incheon airport as its hub, Korean Air offers unprecedented access for Delta customers traveling to and from Asia.”
The airport is centrally located between two key aviation routes - the North Pacific air route linking Southeast Asia, as well as the North America and Siberian air routes, connecting Northeast Asia and Europe.
Incheon offers greater connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region than any other airport in the area. As the geographic center of the region, the airport is almost equidistant - about two hours - from Beijing and Tokyo. More than 40 major cities are within a four-hour flight and more than 1 billion people reside within 620 miles of Incheon.
“Korean Air continues to look toward the future and is poised to be one of the world’s leading carriers,” Matsen said.
Lee said, “Korean Air is proud to reinstate codesharing now with Air France and soon with Delta, further expanding the services and benefits we are able to provide SkyTeam passengers around the world.”
SkyTeam members AeroMexico, Air France, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta and Korean Air provide a route network concentrated in the most competitive markets where nearly 80 percent of airline travelers want to fly.
The six carriers offer frequent flyers the opportunity to earn miles when flying any of the member airlines. These miles can be exchanged for rewards (such as tickets on any SkyTeam airline). Furthermore, top-tier flyers on each of the alliance airlines automatically attain SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus status with enhanced benefits that are additional to all member airlines’ current frequent flyer program offerings. SkyTeam Elite members receive priority waitlist for reservations and at the airport, as well as separate check-in.
Customers with Elite Plus status qualify for the aforementioned benefits as well as guaranteed economy-class reservations, priority baggage handling, and access to more than 300 SkyTeam airport lounges for international trips, regardless of travel class.
Delta customers will benefit from significant increases in flight frequencies and connecting opportunities to the major destinations in Asia and the Pacific rim with the reinstatement of the codeshare with Korean Air.