SkyTeam, which includes Czech Airlines, celebrates Tenth Anniversary

The CEOs and Chairmen of SkyTeam today gathered in New York to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the alliance. Since its founding in 2000, SkyTeam has more than tripled its membership, doubled flights and nearly doubled destinations to offer customers easier connections across all continents.

The leaders of SkyTeam reflected on accomplishments of the last decade and outlined strategic focus areas for the next ten years and beyond. The members pledged to intensify cooperation and further develop the network to ensure valuable growth for both customers and members. At the meeting, SkyTeam:

• Signed an agreement with China Eastern to formally begin the process of adding one of China’s leading airlines as a SkyTeam member, and
• Renewed its membership program, thereby making Air Europa, Kenya Airways and TAROM (since 25 June) full members of the alliance.

From its founding in 2000 by Aeroméxico, Air France, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air, SkyTeam has grown to 13 members in 2010, including the recent addition of Vietnam Airlines and this Friday’s planned addition of Romanian carrier TAROM. SkyTeam carriers today offer more than 13,000 daily flights to 898 destinations in 169 countries, up from 6,402 daily flights to 451 destinations in 98 countries at its inception. “During the last 10 years, Sky Team’s experience with ground breaking mergers and joint ventures has deepened the cooperation among our members, giving our customers access to more markets at lower fares,” said SkyTeam Governing Board Chairman Leo van Wijk. SkyTeam is also focused on growing its presence in other regions of the world, such as Latin America, Southeast Asia and India.

Renewed membership program
Sky Team’s 10-year anniversary also marks the introduction of a new membership program, to better match with the alliances’ growth ambition. The former Associate Airline program served carriers, including current partners of alliance members, who were interested in alliance benefits but did not yet meet all strategic criteria necessary to become full SkyTeam members. It allowed SkyTeam to build a broader network and provide customers with access to additional regions of the world. With a higher degree of maturity reached in alliance development and integration, SkyTeam now fully integrates all members into the alliance. With this reclassification, Air Europa, Kenya Airways and new member TAROM will now also be referred to as Member airlines. This change will reinforce the cohesion among the partner airlines. For the customer, there will be no differences.

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