LONDON, Jan. 23, 2003—SkyTeam executives today in London announced plans to introduce an Associate airline program that would expand customer benefits to additional regions of the world. The plan would open associate SkyTeam membership to carriers that extend the alliance’s network reach once they meet specific operational and service standards. The SkyTeam Steering Committee confirmed the concept could be ready by late spring, with first Associate members joining in 2004.
“We are excited that this concept will open additional travel opportunities for our present and potential customers around the world,” Dominique Patry, Vice President, International Affairs and Alliances for Air France said on behalf of the SkyTeam Steering Committee. “The Associate concept would be open to certain carriers which complement SkyTeam in focused markets and meet our quality and service requirements.”
The Associate program would allow the carriers specific use of the SkyTeam brand in their geographic region without the full cost of SkyTeam membership. Full details of Associate membership are currently being finalized.
“Practically all of the SkyTeam members have bilateral links with carriers that are interested in the benefits that association with the alliance would offer. Carriers that achieve Associate membership will provide an extension to the SkyTeam network and will meet the customer service requirements of the alliance,” Patry said.
As the Steering Committee finalizes the Associate concept plan, more specific details will be announced.
About SkyTeam: SkyTeam is the global airline alliance partnering Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air. Through one of the world’s most extensive hub networks, SkyTeam offers its 220 million annual passengers a worldwide system of approximately 8,200 daily flights covering all major destinations. Visit SkyTeam on the Web at www.skyteam.com.