New Cooperative Services to Include Frequent Flyer Plan, Airport Lounge and Code-Share Benefits
MINNEAPOLIS/ROME/AMSTELVEEN - Northwest Airlines and Alitalia Italian Airlines in cooperation with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced today that they plan to inaugurate daily nonstop Detroit-Rome and Detroit-Milan, Italy flights beginning in April, 2000. The cooperative services will also include frequent flyer plan reciprocity, reciprocal airport lounge programs and other travel benefits.
Northwest and Alitalia`s new U.S.-Italy joint flights will complement the trans-Atlantic routes operated by Northwest and KLM. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted anti-trust immunity for a Northwest/KLM/Alitalia alliance to allow all three carriers to closely align their routes and products in the weeks ahead. Northwest and KLM were the first two airlines to receive anti-trust immunity in January, 1993 and have a well developed alliance while KLM and Alitalia have also formed a highly integrated partnership.
Inauguration of the Detroit-Rome and Detroit-Milan routes is made possible by the DOT reaching an Open Skies Agreement between the United States and Italy. These new services are contingent on formal receipt of DOT operating authority which is expected in several days.
“We applaud the efforts of DOT Secretary Rodney Slater and his administration for reaching an Open Skies Agreement with Italy,” said John Dasburg, Northwest president and chief executive officer. “The agreement coupled with our anti-trust immunity will allow Northwest and Alitalia to implement an extensive partnership with KLM to offer many new benefits to the traveling public.”
“We join Northwest in congratulating the governments of Italy and the United States in reaching an Open Skies agreement,” said Domenico Cempella, Alitalia managing director and chief executive officer. “This will lead to more service to both countries and lay the groundwork for the Alitalia, KLM and Northwest cooperative services.”
“A global village requires global transportation solutions,” added Leo van Wijk, KLM president and chief executive officer. “The new Open Skies agreement and the Northwest, KLM and Alitalia anti-trust immunity mark an essential milestone in the advancement of our global alliance.”
Highlights of the new alliance services follow:
Effective April 2, Northwest plans to inaugurate daily Detroit-Rome and Detroit-Milan nonstop service in conjunction with the new Northwest, Alitalia and KLM alliance. The new Open Skies agreement will allow Alitalia to code-share on these flights and offer convenient connections with Northwest and KLM to major markets in Italy, countries beyond Italy and in the United States.
Northwest and Alitalia plan to implement code-share service to the fullest extent possible on flights across the Atlantic, on routes within Italy and to points beyond, and on routes within the United States. With receipt of formal DOT authority, Alitalia`s current nonstop services wouldcarry a joint code in the future, including: New York (JFK)-Rome, New York (JFK)-Milan, Boston-Milan, Miami-Rome, Miami-Milan, Chicago-Milan, San Francisco-Milan and Los Angeles-Milan. In addition, Alitalia and Continental Airlines offer Newark-Rome
Code-share service will include all the benefits of “seamless” travel including issuance of all boarding passes at initial check-in, luggage check to final destination and convenient flight transfers.
Frequent Flyer Plans—
Northwest and Alitalia will offer reciprocal frequent flyer programs at an effective date to be announced in the near future. Members of Northwest and Alitalia`s frequent flyer plans will enjoy reciprocal benefits including the opportunity to earn and redeem travel awards on flights operated by both airlines. Top-tier members of each program will receive additional travel benefits. Northwest and KLM have reciprocal frequent flyer programs as do KLM and Alitalia.
Airport Lounge Programs—
Northwest and Alitalia will offer reciprocal airport lounge programs at an effective date to be announced in the near future. The lounges offer comfort and convenience for customers traveling for business or pleasure. Northwest and KLM have reciprocal lounge programs as do KLM and Alitalia.
Northwest and Alitalia, together with KLM, Continental and other global travel partners, serve more than 500 cities in nearly 100 countries on six continents.