SPAIN, PANAMA, KENYA, September 4, 2007 – Today, SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, welcomed Air Europa, Copa Airlines and Kenya Airways as the first official SkyTeam Associate Airlines. As of September 1, passengers traveling with Air Europa, Copa Airlines and Kenya Airways receive the same benefits offered to passengers traveling with the 10 current SkyTeam member airlines, including frequent flyer programs and improved access to airport lounges. The SkyTeam Associate Program was launched to serve carriers in strategic regions who are interested in becoming affiliated with SkyTeam and its alliance benefits.
"The Associate Program allows the alliance to build a broader network and provide customers with access to additional regions of the world, while further expanding SkyTeam’s offerings,” said Leo van Wijk, chairman of the SkyTeam Governing Board. “SkyTeam is excited to welcome Air Europa, Copa Airlines and Kenya Airways to our Associate Program and pleased to offer our passengers access to 47 additional destinations and nearly 500 additional daily flights,” van Wijk added.
Earlier this year, Air Europa, Copa Airlines and Kenya Airways each signed an agreement outlining their commitment to meet a set of predetermined safety, security and quality standards to be recognized as an Associate Airline. As part of the Associate Program, the carriers also adopted a current member’s loyalty program. Air Europa and Kenya Airways recognized Air France-KLM’s “Flying Blue” program, while Copa Airlines accepted Continental’s “One Pass” program. Upon completion of all membership requirements, each Associate Airline candidate received a formal approval from the SkyTeam Governing Board to become an official Associate Airline.
“The integration of the Associate Airlines will benefit all parties involved,” said Dominique Patry, SkyTeam Steering Committee chairman and senior vice president of International Affairs and Alliances, Air France. “Air Europa, Copa Airlines and Kenya Airways will gain resources from SkyTeam member airline expertise, while current SkyTeam carriers can leverage individual member airline partnerships across the alliance, which will provide for additional cooperation and growth opportunities.”
SkyTeam Associate Airlines operate under the direction of a Sponsor Member, who represents the interests of the Associate Airline in all decision-making situations and serves as the liaison between the Associate Airline and other alliance members.
Moving forward, SkyTeam will continue to evaluate opportunities to expand the alliance’s global network and enhance SkyTeam’s benefits to more than 378 million alliance passengers around the world. SkyTeam is preparing for the addition of China Southern, the largest airline in the People’s Republic of China, as a Member Airline later this year.
With a fleet of 38 aircraft, Air Europa serves over 9 million passengers annually and flies to 44 destinations in 15 countries, including destinations throughout Spain and Western Europe as well as cities in North Africa and Latin America. Visit Air Europa on the Web at www.aireuropa.com.
With a fleet of 35 aircraft, Copa Airlines currently offers approximately 126 daily scheduled flights to 40 destinations in 21 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. In addition, Copa Airlines provides passengers with access to flights to more than 120 other international destinations through codeshare agreements with Continental Airlines and other airlines. Visit Copa Airlines on the Web at www.copaair.com.
With a fleet of 23 aircraft, Kenya Airways serves more than 2.6 million passengers annually and flies to 43 destinations in 36 countries, including cities across Africa, as well as Amsterdam, Paris and London and select destinations in Asia, including Dubai, Mumbai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Bangkok. Visit Kenya Airways on the Web at www.kenya-airways.com.
SkyTeam is the global airline alliance partnering ten members, including Aeroflot, Aeroméxico, Air France, Alitalia, Continental Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air and Northwest Airlines, and three Associate Airlines: Air Europa (Spain), Copa Airlines (Panama) and Kenya Airways. Through one of the world’s most extensive hub networks, SkyTeam offers its 378.4 million annual passengers a worldwide system of 15,089 daily flights covering 791 destinations in 162 countries. In 2006, readers of Global Traveler Magazine voted SkyTeam “Best Airline Alliance” for the second consecutive year. Visit SkyTeam on the Web at www.skyteam.com.