SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, will deliver increased customer benefits and more codeshare opportunities for members throughout 2016. Speaking at the 72nd annual IATA AGM held in Dublin, Ireland, SkyTeam CEO and Managing Director, Perry Cantarutti, outlined some of the key highlights expected from across the alliance this year.
SkyPriority Customer Audit
Underscoring its commitment to the more than 665M annual passengers that fly on its 20 member airlines each year, the alliance has launched an industry-first customer feedback initiative – the SkyPriority Audit App. The App allows premium customers to rate their travel experience, in an effort to ensure the highest consistency in service delivery across the globe.
Following a successful nine-month pilot phase involving over 8,000 top frequent flyers, the SkyPriority Audit App has been launched worldwide. All eligible SkyTeam customers can provide feedback on SkyPriority services at every step of their journey at more than 1,000 airports. Free to download, the App is available in English, Spanish and Simplified Chinese, with a further 11 languages being rolled out through summer 2016.
“SkyTeam was the first alliance to deliver aligned, branded priority airport services network-wide. In order to ensure we are providing a consistently high level of service, our SkyPriority customers are now empowered to give us direct feedback when they are travelling,” said Perry Cantarutti, SkyTeam’s CEO and Managing Director. “We are committed to our promise of caring more about customers and by listening to what they have to say and using the data from the customer audit, we can identify areas for improvement to deliver a more seamless travel experience.”
Network growth and collaboration
Intra-airline code-sharing and collaboration between SkyTeam members grew by more than 7 percent year-over-year to March 2016.
“This continued growth in collaboration enables member airlines to extend their global reach and offer a greater number of destinations and frequencies to their customers, without launching services to new markets,” said Cantarutti. “As an alliance, SkyTeam adds value to airlines by facilitating commercial partnerships between our members, maximizing opportunities for growth.”
Overall, the alliance footprint grew in terms of Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs) by more than 5 percent through March 2016. In summer 2016, SkyTeam will offer over 17,350 daily departures to more than 1,062 cities across 177 countries.
More SkyTeam lounges underway
Announcing the development of a new SkyTeam lounge at Beijing Capital International Airport, Cantarutti said: “Just as we opened a new lounge in Dubai in April this year, we started work on our next SkyTeam lounge which will be in Beijing. SkyTeam lounges are one of the best ways we can add value for our members and customers alike by delivering a high-quality airport experience while reducing expenses for airlines.”
Construction started on the new Beijing lounge earlier this month and the official opening is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year. The lounge will be the sixth SkyTeam-branded facility and the alliance’s second in Greater China, complementing theHong Kong lounge that opened in October 2015.
SkyTeam opened its first lounge at London’s Heathrow Airport in 2009 and also has lounges in Istanbul, Sydney and now Dubai.