SkyTeam, the global airline alliance comprised of Aeroméxico, Air France, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air, today announced it will expand its services for passengers through the signature of an agreement with Alitalia to join the alliance.
“SkyTeam seeks out members, such as Alitalia, that offer our customers greater convenience through new destinations and connections, while enhancing our global network - members that embody our mission to become a comprehensive, customer-focused global airline alliance,” said the SkyTeam CEOs in a joint statement.
The CEOs added, “The agreements signed with Alitalia today mark the successful conclusion of exclusive bilateral negotiations initiated on July 9 between Alitalia, Air France and Delta, with a view to forging a strong commercial partnership and making Alitalia the newest member of the SkyTeam alliance. With the addition of Alitalia, SkyTeam passengers will now enjoy even greater travel opportunities between and enhanced access to Italy and Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. SkyTeam already offers customers more connections and the most non-stop destinations between North America and Europe, the most heavily traveled corridor in the world, surpassing other alliances. And with Air France, Alitalia and CSA, we are creating a powerful European force in the SkyTeam network, enabling us to successfully compete with major airlines in the region who are members of other alliances.”
Alitalia`s customers will benefit from SkyTeam branding as soon as it has harmonized its services and procedures with those of the other members, coordinated its frequent flyer programs and trained its staff. Furthermore, Alitalia, which has a fleet of two Boeing 747-200 freighters and one Boeing 747-400 freighter, soon join SkyTeam Cargo, the first global cargo alliance. With Alitalia, SkyTeam Cargo will offer the largest global network out of Italy, one of Europe`s leading markets for air freight.
Convenient air travel to more destinations:
Alitalia`s dual hub airport operations at Milan Malpensa and Rome Fiumicino will further enhance one of the most efficient hub systems in the world. SkyTeam customers will benefit from significant increases in flight frequencies and connecting opportunities to all the major destinations in the Northern Hemisphere, where nearly 80 percent of the world`s traffic flies.
In addition, the alliance is well positioned for future growth in both flights and facilities. SkyTeam`s network of strategically located hubs in the Americas, Europe and Asia currently will offer travelers, with Alitalia, multiple departure time options on approximately 8,000 daily flights to more than 500 destinations in 120 countries.
Each member airline makes important contributions to the strength of the network. Delta`s hub in Atlanta is the largest single-airline hub in the world, and Delta`s expansion at JFK International Airport in New York will provide for additional growth in the future.
Air France`s hub in Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport is the most efficient hub in Europe, in terms of connecting opportunities and is developing rapidly. Korean Air`s new hub at Seoul`s Incheon Airport is one of the few hub airports in Asia with substantial developing potential. The possibility of adding runways and gates - and therefore, additional flights - in such critical markets as Asia and Europe will be invaluable for SkyTeam passengers. Aeromexico`s Mexico City hub is the leading Latin American airport. CSA`s international hub in Prague strengthens SkyTeam`s position in Europe, offering passengers increased access to Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Alitalia`s 26 million passengers will benefit from access to the SkyTeam network. With the addition of Alitalia, SkyTeam passengers will have access to 869 additional daily flights to 21 new destinations in six additional countries served by Alitalia`s fleet of 166 modern aircraft.
SkyTeam frequent flyers can 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 their international trips, regardless of travel class.
Upon full integration, Alitalia frequent flyer program Club Ulisse and Club Freccia Alata members will also be able to enjoy all SkyTeam benefits.
SkyTeam is the global airline alliance partnering Aeroméxico, Air France, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Korean Air, and soon, Alitalia. Through one of the world`s most extensive hub networks, SkyTeam offers its 221 million annual passengers a worldwide system of approximately 8,000 daily flights covering all the major destinations, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere where nearly 80 percent of the world`s traffic flies, while still providing a consistent standard of performance, quality and detailed attention to customer service.