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Four leading airlines launch global SkyTeam alliance

World airline passengers will enjoy a new standard of service with the introduction of SkyTeam, the global airline alliance partnering…

World airline passengers will enjoy a new standard of service with the introduction of SkyTeam<.>, the global airline alliance partnering Aeromexico, Air France, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air. SkyTeam`s passengers will be able to choose from 6,402 daily flights – including more non-stop destinations between the United States and Europe than any other airline grouping. The airlines` 174.3 million annual passengers also will experience a consistent level of performance, quality and detailed attention to customer service.

In a joint statement, the airlines` CEOs said, The creation of the SkyTeam partnership will alter the competitive landscape for airline alliances. As the first global airline alliance created entirely around our customers, we are dedicated to providing the routes and services that best meet their needs. We are already working to expand our current offerings to provide more choices, better service and improved benefits.

Easier Access to More Destinations

Through the formation of one of the world`s most extensive hub networks, SkyTeam customers around the world will have more options to reach their destinations. Corporations competing in the global economy will have access to a worldwide network covering more than half of the world`s passenger traffic. SkyTeam`s route system covers all the major destinations in the Northern Hemisphere, where nearly 80 percent of the world`s traffic flies.

In addition to SkyTeam`s extensive current flight offerings, the alliance is well positioned for future growth in flights and facilities. Paris` Charles de Gaulle Airport, Air France`s hub, and Seoul`s new Inchon Airport, a future hub for Korean Air, are two of the few major hub airports in the world with room to expand. The possibility of adding runways and gates – and therefore flights – in such critical markets will be invaluable for SkyTeam passengers in the years to come.

Currently, SkyTeam`s network of strategically located hubs in Latin America, Europe, the United States and Asia offers travelers multiple departure time options on 6,402 daily flights to 451 destinations in 98 countries:

Aeromexico`s Benito Juarez International Airport hub in Mexico City provides SkyTeam passengers with access to Latin America`s leading airport, with more than 6,000 passengers passing through its gates per hour.

Air France`s operations at Charles de Gaulle Airport offer access to Europe`s largest hub with more than 14,000 connections available in less than two hours each week – more than Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Heathrow, Brussels or Zurich.

Delta`s hub at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport offers passengers more connections than any other airport in the world, with 1,316 daily flights to 126 destinations.

Korean Air, one of Asia`s largest carriers, services 78 destinations in 29 countries including Japan, China, Korea and Southeast Asia, and through its Seoul hub offers customers fast and convenient connections to major cities around the world.

More Convenient Ticketing and Check-In Services

From ticket offices to technology, SkyTeam offers customers many ways to obtain information and assistance. Wherever they are in the world, SkyTeam customers will never be more than a few steps away from qualified SkyTeam travel assistance. SkyTeam`s 659 airport and city ticket offices will provide customers with information and ticketing services for all partner airlines. SkyTeam`s integrated information technology network will enable passengers to contact SkyTeam members` call centers, city ticket offices or airport ticket offices to ascertain flight schedules, service details (such as aircraft type and meal information), booking and departure confirmations, seat assignments and published fares. Passengers also will be able to find all of this flight information by logging onto In addition, at 451 airports around the world, passengers connecting from one partner airline to another will be able to save time by checking in only once.

Reciprocal and Enhanced Frequent Flyer Benefits

Frequent flyers will earn miles in their current accounts when flying any of the partner airlines; miles can be exchanged for a reward ticket on any SkyTeam airline. In addition, top-tier flyers on each of the alliance airlines will automatically attain SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus status with enhanced benefits. Elite and Elite Plus status are supplemental to all member airlines` current frequent flier program offerings. SkyTeam Elite members (Aeromexico Club Premier Oro and Club Premier Oro Corporativo, Air France Frequence Plus Bleu, Delta SkyMiles Silver and Gold Medallion, and Korean Air Morning Calm) will receive priority waitlist, priority check-in and boarding, preferred seating, access to more than 265 airport lounges across the network when flying international first and business class, and priority on airport standby listings. SkyTeam Elite Plus members (Aeromexico Club Premier Platino, Air France`s Frequence Plus Rouge, Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion, and Korean Air Morning Calm Premium and Million Miler) qualify for all of the aforementioned benefits as well as guaranteed economy-class reservations, priority baggage handling, and lounge access regardless of travel class.

Current and Future Cargo Offerings

The SkyTeam partners are exploring opportunities to provide cargo customers with the same valuable conveniences and access to worldwide destinations. Cargo customers now benefit from the alliance partnership through reserved cargo space and marketing agreements. More comprehensive network and product enhancements are currently under development and will be introduced in phases.

SkyTeam`s unveiling was announced at a launch event in New York City attended by Alfonso Pasquel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aeromexico; Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air France; Leo F. Mullin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Delta; and Yi-Taek Shim, President and Chief Executive Officer of Korean Air. Employees from member airlines participated in the announcement representing the more than 150,000 employees who will be instrumental in launching this alliance.

SkyTeam will offer its first round of customer service initiatives beginning immediately, including reciprocal lounge access, base mile accrual and redemption, and an expanded network of flights. Additional SkyTeam customer benefits will be phased in through the end of 2000.

The SkyTeam logo incorporates the name of the alliance and a design that connotes comfort and quality. It will begin appearing on partner airlines` literature beginning later this year. A global advertising campaign launched on June 23 developed around the slogan, Caring More About You.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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