Air France and Delta Air Lines 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.
In making the announcement, 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.
Air France was recently elected by two Korean newspapers as the “best foreign airline.” It was the first European airline to serve Korea in 1983. During the Asian economic crisis from 1997 to 1998 and following the Sept. 11 events last year, Air France was one of the few airlines that did not reduce its capacity to and from Seoul. Air France operates a fleet of 242 aircraft and carried more than 42 million passengers last year. For more information, please go to www.airfrance.com/corporate and www.airfrance.co.kr. Korean Air, with a fleet of 120 aircraft, is one of the world`s top 20 airlines and operates almost 400 passenger flights per day to 82 cities in 30 countries. More on Korean Air`s programs, routes, frequency and partners is available at www.koreanair.co.kr.
Delta Air Lines, the world’s second largest carrier in terms of passengers carried and the leading U.S. airline across the Atlantic, offers more than 5,350 flights each day to 414 destinations in 73 countries on Delta, Delta Express, Delta Shuttle, Delta Connection carriers and Delta’s worldwide partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. For more information, please go to www.delta.com.