The SkyTeam global airline alliance has unveiled its new facility at Terminal 4 at London Heathrow Airport, becoming the first airline alliance to unveil a permanent, common facility in one terminal at London Heathrow.
The new facility includes an exclusive premium check-in area for first and business class passengers, premium economy passengers, and SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus passengers.
SkyTeam has also unveiled the second level of the SkyTeam co-branded lounge. The company says that when the check-in area and second level of the lounge open to passengers on November 5 and November 9, respectively, the combined amenities will offer an enhanced experience for customers traveling through London Heathrow.
“This is the first time member airlines have worked together from start to finish to create a consolidated facility truly centered around the alliance and our passengers,” says Marie-Joseph Male, managing director, SkyTeam. “Shared spaces like Heathrow demonstrate how, through collaboration, alliances can deliver added value to customers while realizing efficiencies for members.”
The allliance has designed its common alliance facility at Terminal 4 to invoke movement through a modern look that is inspired by the SkyTeam brand. For the first time, all SkyTeam co-located members will share airport services, including check-in desks, self-service kiosks, and bag drop off locations.
Terminal 4’s premium check-in area, the first to be SkyTeam-branded, will offer first- and business-class passengers, as well as SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus passengers 14 check-in desks and 10 common-use, self-service kiosks. By early 2010, passengers will be able to access travel reservations with any of the eight SkyTeam carriers serving London Heathrow at kiosks in the premium zone and throughout the terminal.
Once airside, SkyTeam first- and business-class passengers and SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers will have access to the SkyTeam-branded lounge, designed by Brandimage – Desgrippes & Laga.
Services on the second level of the lounge include a quiet room with day beds; two VIP rooms; and a separate children’s area with games and television. The first floor, which opened in June, offers a variety of amenities including wine bar, oxygen bar and full-body massage chairs.
At London Heathrow, passengers have several nonstop service options to SkyTeam’s hubs, such as Amsterdam, Atlanta, Milan, Moscow, Nairobi, New York, Paris, Prague, Rome and Seoul. During the upcoming winter season, SkyTeam will operate 42 daily flights from Heathrow to several alliance hubs and key international destinations.
Currently, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Kenya Airways are operating out of Terminal 4. The remaining SkyTeam carriers at Heathrow (Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, Czech Airlines and Korean Air) move to Terminal 4 in November.
This week, also, SkyTeam has opened a shared facility at the new, state-of-the-art Terminal 1 at Barcelona Airport. The eight SkyTeam airlines serving Barcelona (Aeromexico, Aeroflot, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines) began operating out of the new terminal on October 25.
This move provides member airlines quicker access to the runway and decreases taxiing time by approximately ten minutes. With shorter taxi times, carriers require less fuel, which not only saves on costs but also contributes to a friendlier environment.
Shared airport facilities, similar to those at London Heathrow and Barcelona, are an essential part of SkyTeam’s overall strategy. SkyTeam continues to evaluate similar investments other airports around the globe.
The SkyTeam global airline alliance has nine members: Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Korean Air. SkyTeam also has two associate airlines, Air Europa and Kenya Airways. SkyTeam offers its 384 million annual passengers a worldwide system of more than 13,133 daily flights covering 856 destinations in 169 countries, as of the June 2009 schedules for the nine SkyTeam members and two associate airlines.