Tuesday marks SkyTeam’s 21st anniversary, a significant milestone in the global airline alliance’s history since it was founded in New York City by Aeromexico, Air France, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air. The 19-member alliance is eyeing a future beyond COVID-19 as an industry leader in seamless customer experience, powered by its proprietary innovative technology – the digital spine – to deliver a frictionless, safer customer experience.
“Over 21 years, SkyTeam has created value for members and their customers. We will continue to leverage our position to find synergies and more ways to improve our cooperation, products and services to help members build back stronger, including adopting technology to help get the world moving once more,” said Walter Cho, SkyTeam Chairman. “Korean Air and its partners founded our alliance on a promise of caring more about customers. The hard work and uncompromising commitment of our members and their employees to deliver safe, seamless travel during the challenges our industry has and continues to face, shows this promise remains as true today.”
Having recently enhanced its SkyCare & Protect health safety pledge by expanding aligned measures from 15 to 22, SkyTeam is going further. The alliance is partnering with member airlines and travel technology providers to enable off-airport verification of passengers’ digital and paper health credentials for every segment of their journey, enabling seamless travel between SkyTeam carriers and reducing customer stress and health safety risks.
“Partnering with travel technology experts delivers benefits for member airlines and their customers, something that SkyTeam has been focused on for 21 years,” said Kristin Colvile, SkyTeam CEO. “When customers return to travel, they can do so with the confidence that comes with knowing our airlines are taking care of their health safety at every step, from rigorous cleanliness and hygiene protocols, to digital health credential solutions that ensure as stress-free a journey as possible.”
Andrés Conesa, Aeromexico CEO, added, “When Aeromexico jointly formed SkyTeam in 2000, our customers gained access to a vast network of global destinations, world-class airport lounges and the ability to connect between leading airport hubs. SkyTeam members are working tirelessly to deliver on health credential technology, while ensuring enhanced hygiene and digital health measures in our mission to reunite colleagues, friends and families.”
Headquartered in Amsterdam, for 21 years SkyTeam and its members have worked side-by-side to create the most seamless customer experience through a number of innovative travel solutions, such as:
Health safety and innovation: Launched June 2020, SkyCare & Protect is an alliance-wide commitment to health and hygiene protocols across SkyTeam’s global network. The pledge was recently boosted from an initial 15 measures to 22 health safety steps, including a Testing Labs Locator to help customers access the right COVID-19 test with a trusted provider in 17,000+ global locations.
Digitized travel experience: Subject to airport operations, SkyTeam members are committed to further digitizing the travel experience to reduce physical touchpoints, for example at check-in. This includes being able to obtain boarding passes online for travel across multiple carriers, self-scanning of boarding passes and online baggage tracking across multiple carriers.
Health credential technology: The alliance has advocated for internationally recognized health credential technology throughout the pandemic to enable the safe reopening of borders. SkyTeam members have extensively trailed and collaborated on new technology including to develop tailormade and timely digital solutions for customers.
Keeping connections moving: SkyTeam Rebooking overcomes the complexity of connecting different systems by using innovative technology to reduce inconvenience caused to customers by flight delays, cancellations, and diversions. Frontline agents of any member can rebook customers onto another member’s flights using their own reservation platform at airports worldwide.
Priority airport experience: SkyPriority has been delivering priority airport services for SkyTeam’s First and Business Class customers and millions of elite level frequent flyers since 2012. Available at every SkyTeam station worldwide, customers enjoy priority at every step including check-in, boarding and baggage collection.