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SkyTeam enhances Network Offering and Presence at London Heathrow

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Wednesday, 6 February 2008

The global airline alliance, SkyTeam, is to enhance its customer offering and increase its presence at London Heathrow International Airport (LHR) next month as the EU-U.S. open skies agreement takes effect.

SkyTeam applauds the progress made with the first-stage transatlantic open skies agreement between the EU and the U.S, said Leo van Wijk, chairman of the SkyTeam Governing Board. We are pro-competition and strongly believe that greater liberalisation in the aviation industry opens up new opportunities for travellers, as well as airlines and their employees.

As of March 30, 2008, SkyTeam travellers will have access to more route and flight options than ever before. The alliance will offer in total 11 new daily frequencies through eight new nonstop routes never before available to passengers travelling within the SkyTeam network between the U.S. and LHR, including:

- Daily service to and from Los Angeles (operated by Air France with Delta codesharing); 
- Twice-daily service to Houston (operated by Continental);
- Daily service to Atlanta (operated by Delta with Air France codesharing); 
- Service to New York (twice-daily service to John F. Kennedy International (JFK) operated by Delta with Air France codesharing and twice-daily service to Newark Liberty International (EWR) operated by Continental); and
- Daily service to Detroit, Minneapolis, and Seattle (operated by Northwest with KLM codesharing).

At this time, SkyTeams U.S. carriers Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines will begin serving LHR, the first U.S. airlines to gain new entry to the airport for the first time since 1991. SkyTeam members Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, CSA, KLM and Korean Air already serve the UK gateway hub. At the start of their service to LHR, Continental, Delta and Northwest will join KLM and Kenya Airways in Terminal 4.

SkyTeam U.S. carriers with current service to London Gatwick airport (LGW) will continue to serve the airport with direct transatlantic routes. Additionally, members Air France and KLM will continue serving London City Airport (LCY).

Greater access to London Heathrow will improve passenger transfer convenience, but for SkyTeam, the opening of the airport is a symbol of change, added Mr. van Wijk. For years, the airport was closed to most U.S. airlines, including the three U.S. carriers in the SkyTeam alliance. With the open skies agreement, Heathrow is now open for more competition, which is good for the passenger.

SkyTeams move to Terminal 4 part of a broader airport relocation project coordinated by BAA will take effect over the next 12 months, with the welcoming of the U.S. carriers completing the first phase.

See other recent news regarding: Travel News Asia, SkyTeam, Miles, London, Heathrow

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