SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, projects an increase of 18 % in membership cooperation for the year 2014. The increase is the result of more codeshares and bilateral agreements amongst its member airlines, benefiting global customers by offering more destinations and travel options.
"This year, we anticipate that more than 26 million customers will be interlining passengers between member airlines thanks to increased collaboration," said Michael Wisbrun, SkyTeam's Managing Director. "This increase in network extension within SkyTeam demonstrates that our strategy is working. We continue to focus on making greater use of our global network by encouraging further cooperation within the alliance, while developing network-wide customer initiatives to deliver seamless travel."
SkyTeam's role as an alliance is to add value to members' businesses while improving the travel experience for its 580 million annual passengers. Current SkyTeam customer-focused initiatives include:
SkyTransfer: In 2014 approximately 26 million passengers are expected to connect across member airlines with 6.5 million transferring at SkyTeam hubs. This initiative creates efficiency and seamlessness during the transfer process for passengers and their baggage. Implementation is ongoing in different stages at SkyTeam's top 11 hubs for connecting traffic: Atlanta, New York-JFK, Mexico City, Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris CDG, Seoul Incheon, Madrid, Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai. Most of these key hubs now feature Connection Control Units and Transfer Service Centres part of the projects under SkyTransfer program. Earlier this year, SkyTeam rolled out an alliance-wide care and assistance policy to provide an aligned service recovery standard across all its members.
SkyPriority: A global standard offered by all members; SkyPriority services are now available at over 850 locations. SkyTeam Elite Plus, First and Business Class customers now benefit from branded SkyPriority services throughout 92% of the alliance's global network. This year SkyTeam will add further benefits for customers, including: more priority immigration and security lanes, dedicated call centres and SkyPriority baggage desks.
SkyPort: A continued focus on increasing the co-location of airport facilities to improve the customer experience. In addition to opening a SkyTeam exclusive lounge in 2015 for passengers of the 15 airlines flying into Dubai International Airport, SkyTeam will open the next SkyTeam exclusive lounge at Sydney towards the end of 2014. SkyTeam's existing exclusive lounges at London's Heathrow and Istanbul's Ataturk airports, joint check in counters and airport ticketing offices worldwide are further examples of successful airport synergies.
Commercial Synergies: With 1,064 destinations worldwide, SkyTeam has created a competitive portfolio of products for its customers. This includes: an enhanced Round the World fare pass and numerous regional fare passes, offering flexible and cost-effective travel; Global Meetings, to respond to demand from the Meetings Incentives Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) industry for small as well as large-scale international events; and SkyTeam Corporate Contracts.
"With our global network covering 90% of the world's most relevant traffic flows, our focus has shifted to improving seamlessness and efficiency in our service delivery," concludes Mr. Wisbrun. "The results of our progress to date are very positive, showing how our members are working together to deliver an aligned and superior level of service for customers traveling the world."
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 access to 564 lounges worldwide. The 20 members are: Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines and Xiamen Airlines. SkyTeam offers its 588 million annual customers over 15,700 daily flights to 1,064 destinations in 178 countries.