Which airlines founded the SkyTeam alliance?


SkyTeam is one of the three major airline alliances in the world, with 19 major carriers making up the organization. As we get closer to the 21st anniversary of the band’s official launch, we thought we were going to see who the original members were.

Air France was one of the founding members of SkyTeam, but what other airlines were part of the initial harvest? Photo: Getty Images

First steps

The alliance was formed on June 22, 2000. However, its roots go back to exactly one year before, when Air France and Delta Air Lines signed an exclusive long-term strategic agreement.

This pact expanded Delta’s codeshare agreement and involved broader marketing links, such as access to individual loyalty initiatives. Additionally, Air France said it would earn $ 150 million in annual profits after three years from the deal.

Even then, it was well assumed that this move would pave the way for what would become a great global association to compete with the newly formed Star Alliance and aworld.

Members of the Star launch in May 1997 were Lufthansa, United Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways and Air Canada. Meanwhile, athe founders of the world in February 1999 were British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines and Qantas.

Joining forces

Thus, at the start of the first summer of the new millennium, the executives of Delta and Air France met with the executives of Aeromexico and Korean Air in New York to launch the new alliance. As a result, the project offered its customers the choice of 6,402 daily services to 451 destinations in 98 countries. SkyTeam stressed that the offer included more non-stop destinations between Europe and the United States than its competitors.

From left to right, Korean Air President Yi-Taek Shim, Delta Air Lines President Leo Mullin, Air France President Jean-Cyril Spinetta and Aeromexico President Alfonso Pasquel announcing the SkyTeam alliance on June 22 2000. Photo: Getty Images

In the fall of that year, there was a scale-up with the alliance to represent the airline’s cargo operations. Thus, Aeromexpress, Air France Cargo, Delta Air Logistics and Korean Air Cargo were the founding members of SkyTeam Cargo. This program has allowed a smoother movement of goods between airline networks.

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The next steps

The next two full members to join would be Czech Airlines and Alitalia, both of which became members in 2001. It would take another three years for another airline to enter the fold, with KLM joining in 2004. This addition was partly due to the Dutch company. merger with Air France.

Airlines at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport in Roissy, France in 2001.
SkyTeam has always been proud of its transatlantic connections. Photo: Getty Images

SkyTeam has continued to offer an alliance that serves up to 676 million customers each year. It also offers up to more than 15,400 daily flights to more than 1,000 destinations. Airline alliances have become a mainstay of the aviation industry, but it was only a short period of a few years in the late 1990s that gave birth to three of the world’s greatest powers.

What do you think of SkyTeam? How do you think this compares to other alliances around the world? Let us know what you think of the organization in the comments section.

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