SkyTeam Members Expand Travel Offerings for 2005 Summer Season

New Summer Destinations Provide Broader Service in Support of Forecasted Increase in International Travel

NEW YORK, April 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — SkyTeam, the global airline alliance partnering Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines, Continental, Delta Air Lines, KLM, Korean Air and Northwest, today said its members are anticipating passenger growth in 2005 and launching new flight options this summer season, which runs from April to October. Passengers traveling with SkyTeam will have access to a combined total of 533 additional flights per week and 16 new alliance destinations, as compared with last summer.

In February, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicted a 5.9 percent growth in passenger volume for the airline industry this year. Foreseeing similar trends within their passenger networks, SkyTeam members are strategically increasing the number of destinations they serve, as well as boosting flight frequencies on well-traveled routes, further strengthening the alliance’s global route network.

According to IATA, international passenger traffic is expected to grow six percent yearly through 2008. In terms of SkyTeam’s network, the alliance will add eight new international destinations this summer, including St. Croix; Tikal-Flores, Guatemala; Chennai, India; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Khartoum, Sudan; Minsk, Belarus; Skopje, Macedonia; and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“SkyTeam members are increasing service to accommodate the growing needs of travelers,” said Dominique Patry, chairman of the SkyTeam Steering Committee and vice president alliances and international affairs at Air France. “Whether flying for business or pleasure, domestically or internationally, SkyTeam passengers benefit from the expanded choices and flexibility alliance members are offering. We monitor travel trends and forecasts closely to continually meet the needs of our current and potential customers.”

New SkyTeam destinations
This summer, SkyTeam will serve 16 new destinations on four continents:

* In Asia, Delta Air Lines will begin service to Chennai, India, with
Air France codesharing on some of the flights. Chennai, formerly
known as Madras, is the gateway of southern India and is a developing
center of business and industry for the Asia-Pacific region.
* In Europe, Alitalia will begin daily service from Milan to Sarajevo,
while CSA Czech Airlines plans to introduce five weekly flights to
the new destination. CSA Czech Airlines is also planning for new
service to Skopje, Macedonia and Minsk, Belarus. Continental will
begin service to Belfast, Northern Ireland this summer.
* KLM is adding the destinations of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Khartoum,
Sudan in Africa.
* In the U.S. and Latin America, Continental Airlines will serve Del
Rio, Texas and Tikal-Flores, Guatemala. The North Carolina cities of
Kinston and Hickory will join the list of U.S. destinations served by
Delta Air Lines Connection carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines. In
March, Delta began service to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Northwest Airlines will bring to the SkyTeam network the U.S.
destinations of Latrobe, Pennsylvania; Ithaca, New York; and
Rockford, Illinois; also adding Charlottetown, Canada to its network
of destinations served.

Added frequencies
SkyTeam passengers can look for the addition of 533 weekly flights.

* Air France will add 87 weekly flights.
* Alitalia’s schedule will offer 92 more flights per week.
* CSA Czech Airlines will increase its schedule by 63 flights per week.
* Delta Air Lines will increase weekly flights by 84.
* KLM is planning for a weekly increase of 46 flights.
* In addition, Korean Air will increase service offerings by 19 weekly
* Northwest passengers can expect an additional 142 flights each week.

“SkyTeam is committed to offering passengers a continually expanding international network. By strategically adding new destinations and increasing service offerings between many cities on several continents, the alliance presents more connectivity than ever before,” said Patry. “The global community is more interconnected than ever and the SkyTeam alliance offers a necessary accommodation for this growth.”

New routes launched by alliance member airlines

In addition to new destinations served and the increase in frequency of popular weekly flights, SkyTeam carriers will offer 79 new routes this summer.

* Air France plans the launch of four new routes this summer between
its Paris hub and destinations in Asia, Europe and the United States.
The airline serves Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and Montenegro and
is adding a new daily service to the SkyTeam hub in Detroit,
* Alitalia will begin seasonal routes from Rome to Boston and Toronto.
Twice daily service is planned to Krakow, Poland from Milan.
* Continental will add 15 new routes including service to Beijing,
making Continental the only U.S. carrier offering daily nonstop
service from New York to the People’s Republic of China and the
world’s fastest growing economy. Other routes will be offered from
New York to Stockholm, Berlin, Hamburg and Bristol.
* CSA Czech Airlines will add six routes this summer, including service
between Rome and Riga, Latvia, a gateway city to large Eastern
European markets and one of the fastest growing economies in the
European Union.
* Delta Air Lines will increase both domestic and international service
offerings by 24, including twice-weekly flights to Montego Bay from
Cincinnati and new daily service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and
Nassau. Other new Delta routes include Atlanta to Boise, Cozumel,
Vancouver and Moscow; service from New York to Berlin and Santiago,
Dominican Republic; and new flights from Salt Lake City to Fairbanks,
Alaska, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
* KLM will serve three new routes. Twice daily weekday service to
London City from Rotterdam began earlier in the season. Another new
route will fly passengers to Tallinn, Estonia.
* New Korean Air routes will serve Bali, Taipei and Seattle. The
airline is also reinstating service to St. Petersburg and Amsterdam
this summer season.
* Northwest Airlines will offer 19 new routes, including a series of
new routes originating in Detroit, Indianapolis and Minneapolis.
Destinations served will include Charlottesville, Virginia; Bermuda;
Seattle; St. Louis; and Lexington, Kentucky. Other new routes
include service between Washington, D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa; Grand
Rapids and Lansing, Michigan; and Madison, Wisconsin.

In addition to global connectivity, SkyTeam offers passengers the opportunity to earn frequent flyer miles when flying new and existing routes on any of the nine member airlines. Traveling within the alliance network, passengers have access to more than 390 airport lounges in cities around the globe.

About SkyTeam

SkyTeam is the global airline alliance partnering Aeromexico, Air France (NYSE:AKH) (Euronext Paris: AF) (Euronext Amsterdam: AFA), Alitalia, Continental Airlines (NYSE:CAL) , CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) , KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air and Northwest Airlines (NYSE:NWB) . Through one of the world’s most extensive hub networks, SkyTeam offers its 341 million annual passengers a worldwide system of more than 14,000 daily flights covering all major destinations. Visit SkyTeam on the Web at .

Related Articles