SkyTeam, the global airline alliance partnering Aeroméxico, Air France, Alitalia, Continental, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM, Korean Air and Northwest Airlines, sets itself apart by offering an exclusive experience for all passengers. Issued monthly, SkyTeam NewsFlash provides media with key updates on alliance activities. Please read on for this month’s SkyTeam news.
SkyTeam spotlight on winter 2005/06
While the winter season officially starts next week in the Northern Hemisphere, SkyTeam’s winter schedule is already in place. This winter season, SkyTeam passengers will benefit from increases in flight frequencies and overall capacity share in a range of key markets, several of which are considered hotbeds for aviation growth.
Middle East and Africa
Given their growth potential, the Middle East and Africa are key focus areas for the SkyTeam alliance. Five of the top 20 countries cited for international traffic growth by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in its Passenger Forecast 2005-2009 are in the Middle East region. For example, IATA forecasts that United Arab Emirates will increase traffic at 7.6 percent annually. SkyTeam’s flights to and from the country are also increasing, with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines strategically raising the frequency of its Amsterdam-Dubai service from seven to twelve weekly roundtrips. In Jordan, predicted to grow at 6.8 percent annually, Air France is adding an additional frequency to Amman this winter.
SkyTeam is adding a new African destination to its roster this winter as KLM begins operating thrice-weekly roundtrip service between Amsterdam and Entebbe, Uganda. Recent economic growth and increase in demand for passenger services to Uganda contributed to the addition of this destination to the alliance network. SkyTeam is also anticipating Associate Airline candidate Kenya Airways to complete its joining requirements soon.
The Asian region is home to several aviation growth markets, including China. SkyTeam is working to provide more flight choices in the region, as this season, alliance members offer a capacity increase of 11.2 percent between Europe and China. In fact, SkyTeam’s available seat kilometer (ASK) share on non-stop routes between the regions is 19 percent. In China, which ranks second on IATA’s list for international traffic growth, Air France is adding frequencies to Shanghai and Beijing beginning in January.
According to IATA’s forecast, three of the top five countries poised for international traffic growth over the next several years are located in Central/Eastern Europe. Romania, home of SkyTeam Associate Airline candidate Tarom, is expected to grow at 8.5 percent. SkyTeam is already adding service to the region via Air France’s new third frequency on the Paris-Bucharest route.
The Czech Republic, headquarters of CSA Czech Airlines, is third on the list, with a forecast of 9.5 percent annual growth. As more passengers look to travel to and from Central/Eastern Europe, CSA Czech Airlines is adding several flights, including an additional weekly flight on its Moscow service, in addition to its seven codeshare flights with SkyTeam member candidate Aeroflot. Aeroflot is making progress on its joining requirements and is anticipated to be officially welcomed in 2006.
While it might be cooler in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is warm across Latin America. This season, SkyTeam members are adding an additional 14 flights to provide even greater access to the region. Overall alliance capacity from Europe to Latin America is up 12.4 percent, with SkyTeam claiming 24 percent of the ASK share between the regions.
U.S. Carriers are taking more passengers to the region, as Continental Airlines launches a new Newark-Houston-Buenos Aires service. Delta Air Lines provides travelers connectivity to an array of Latin American destinations, adding service between Atlanta and Mexico destinations Acapulco and Merida, among others.
Across the globe, SkyTeam carriers are expanding and tailoring their networks to meet the needs of alliance passengers this winter season.
For more information on SkyTeam’s worldwide network, please visit: www.skyteam.com