BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Nov. 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Aerolineas Argentinas, the flag carrier of Argentina, has signed an agreement to join SkyTeam in 2012. Aerolineas will be SkyTeam's first South American member, adding 38 new destinations to the SkyTeam network.
The signing ceremony was held yesterday in Buenos Aires, under the patronage of the President of Argentina, Mrs. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. SkyTeam is actively working to strengthen its presence in Latin America, a region with strong growth figures and a positive outlook for the future. The emerging economy of Argentina is driven by natural, cultural and industrial resources. As the first South American member, Aerolineas Argentinas fits well in SkyTeam's expansion strategy, enhancing the network in the region by offering multiple new destinations in the southern hemisphere.
Through direct services by Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia and Delta Air Lines to Buenos Aires, SkyTeam already offers Argentinean customers daily access to North America and Europe, with convenient connections to Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The extensive domestic and regional service of Aerolineas Argentinas brings 38 new destinations to the SkyTeam network, including Cordoba, Mendoza, Asuncion and Montevideo. With Buenos Aires serving as a Latin American hub with flights to and from key destinations in the region, SkyTeam customers will benefit from improved access to the southern part of South America and Patagonia in particular, popular destinations with travelers from all over the world.
Fleet renewal and improving quality and consistency
Aerolineas Argentinas has initiated a long-term plan to expand and revitalize its business. Key elements of this plan include fleet renewal and rationalization, adding key international destinations such as New York and London, increasing the density of the domestic and regional network and improving product quality and consistency.
Mariano Recalde, President and CEO of Aerolineas Argentinas said: "Aerolineas has started a new chapter under the direction of the Argentine Government and for more than one year we have taken several measures to strengthen our business model. One of the key elements is to reinstate Aerolineas into the industry standards and improve our customers' experience. Joining SkyTeam is a major step towards fulfilling our goals and market recognition for our efforts and commitment. As a result, Aerolineas' passengers will benefit from unprecedented global connectivity through the alliance hubs and networks in Europe, America and Asia, and will also have access to a wide variety of SkyTeam products."
Marie-Joseph Male, Managing Director of SkyTeam, said: "As our 10th anniversary year comes to a close, we can look back on an extraordinary period of growth for the alliance. We have seen our member base in Asia grow tremendously with the announcements of China Eastern, Shanghai Airlines, China Airlines and Garuda Indonesia. Welcoming Aerolineas Argentinas is the next significant step in expanding our presence in Latin America. Together with its plans to expand intercontinental services to New York, London and Paris, I am convinced that joining SkyTeam will help Aerolineas Argentinas position itself as a major player in Latin America."
SkyTeam is a global airline alliance providing customers from member airlines access to an extensive global network with more destinations, more frequencies and more connectivity. Passengers can earn and redeem Frequent Flyer Miles throughout the SkyTeam network. SkyTeam member airlines offer customers over 420 lounges worldwide. The thirteen members are: Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, TAROM and Vietnam Airlines. SkyTeam offers its 385 million annual passengers a worldwide system of over 12,500 daily flights to 898 destinations in 169 countries. SkyTeam celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2010. www.skyteam.com
About Aerolineas Argentinas
Aerolineas Argentinas, the national airline of Argentina, is one of the leading South American carriers. From its home base in Aeroparque Jorge Newbery and Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, Aerolineas Argentinas flies to 18 international destinations in The Americas, Europe and the South Pacific. Along with Austral Lineas Aereas, Aerolineas operates flights to 34 destinations in Argentina, flying to more cities in the Argentine territory than any other airline. Since March 2010 the airline provides dynamic links between Argentina and the region through its relaunched hub in Aeroparque. Aerolineas is carrying an ambitious fleet renewal program, which begun in 2009 with the addition of 12 Boeing 737-700s Next Generation and the acquisition of 20 Embraer 190s. For more information about the company visit www.aerolineas.com.