With nearly 15,000 daily flights, 1024 destinations and 178 countries - discover how the SkyTeam Alliance will help you travel better
An alliance formed by 19 of the world’s major airlines, SkyTeam was founded in 2000 when Aeromexico, Air France, Delta Air and Korean Air came together. Though the last decade has been a challenging one for the aviation industry, the alliance has seen a steady increase in its number of members and expansion to all four corners of the globe.
Wherever in the world you’re travelling, SkyTeam’s member airlines claim they are dedicated to helping make your journey smoother and simpler. Currently, the SkyTeam network covers more than 1000 destinations spanning 178 countries. With a fleet of 2853 planes, 15,000 daily flights and a customer base of 569 million, SkyTeam can help you choose more flights, greater flexibility, convenience and a huge range of other options.
Interesting points about SkyTeam Alliance Airline Network
- How does the SkyTeam Alliance work?
- SkyTeam Alliance members
- Pros and cons of SkyTeam Alliance
- Frequently asked questions about SkyTeam Alliance
How does the SkyTeam Alliance work?
Whether you are planning a business trip or personal holiday, SkyTeam aims to make travelling easy, economical and comfortable. Earn frequent flyer miles on every flight, save money and redeem existing points against a service of your choice. The 19 member-airline partners give you a wide range of choices, offer more flexibility and help you save more than you spend.
SkyTeam’s features include;
- Round the World Planner. This helps you make travel plans with ease. Round the World Planner helps you in creating itineraries that fully comply with SkyTeam’s product (Go Round the World Pass) rules and sales conditions.
- Services. SkyTeam helps its customers find flights, check their flight status, find an airport lounge, make Visa arrangements and find health cover. It even helps with smartphone apps to check the weather, locate airports and get flight updates.
- Essentials while travelling. Wherever you might be travelling, SkyTeam members are ready to offer information regarding your connecting flights, check-in procedures and baggage allowance. Whether you’re looking for access to airline lounges, in-flight services or details on airline policies, SkyTeam staff are available round the clock with ready solutions.
- Round the World Passes. In case you have multiple stops or want to visit some extra locations, SkyTeam’s Round the World passes let you fly around the world on only one ticket.
- Corporate loyalty program. Frequent flyer miles are not just for individuals; even your company can earn loyalty miles.
- Global contracts. Companies can enter into corporate agreements to facilitate business travel plans. Global companies can depend on the Alliance to provide complete business solutions.
- Global meetings. SkyTeam also offers event travel solutions, you can get discounted fares for your attendees, reward tickets and simplify your event travels.
SkyTeam Alliance members
Russia’s national carrier, Aeroflot is the country’s largest and among the world’s oldest airlines. Commendable safety records, exemplary customer service and operational reliability are some of its biggest assets. It flies to over 120 destinations covering 50 countries. The Boeing 737, Airbus A330 and A320 form the backbone of its fleet.
As an Aeroflot Bonus member you can redeem Miles for travel awards, cabin class upgrades and other special awards. By choosing this airline, you can qualify for Elite membership and be eligible for:
- Priority check-in
- Access to the Business Class Lounge
- Extra allowance for luggage
Founded in 1950, this Argentine carrier is one of South America’s leading airlines. With its hub in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, it flies to 18 international destinations. Within Argentina, Aerolineas Argentinas flies to 35 locations. The group is also currently undergoing a major fleet renewal.
Its revamped frequent flyer program was re-launched in 2012. Called Aerolineas Plus, it has three tiers: Classic, Gold and Platinum. Customers using this program can redeem their miles not only with Aerolineas but with other Alliance members.
Mexico’s global airline, Aeromexico has flights to more than 70 destinations. Not only does Aeromexico provide services to the US, Canada, European and South American countries, but it’s also the only Latin-American carrier to fly regularly to Asian nations.
Operating over 450 daily flights, this airline is among the founding members of SkyTeam. Its frequent flyer program is known as Club Premier. Members can use their miles to claim free flights with Aeromexico and other affiliated airlines.
With flights to 43 destinations across 17 countries, 180 daily departures and a fleet of 42 planes, Air Europa is working to position itself among Europe’s most modern airlines. Founded in 1986, it’s the Globalia Corporation’s airline division with headquarters in Madrid.
Carrying nearly nine million passengers a year, Air Europa follows a high level of safety measures. Its frequent flyer program, Flying Blue, helps customers redeem points wherever they go. Members can use points to earn reward flight tickets and benefits from 100 other non-airline partners.
Quality and innovation continue to drive growth for one of Europe’s premium airlines. It covers 165 destinations, 86 countries and operates 1500 flights daily.
Air France was created in 1933 and, in 2004, formed a coalition with KLM to provide one of Europe’s most successful air transport groups. Along with Delta and Alitalia, Air France runs the biggest transAtlantic air travel alliance offering customers more than 250 flights daily.
Customers are eligible for Flying Blue loyalty membership and enjoy benefits of the Air France global network.
Italy’s leading airline, Alitalia is part of the biggest transAtlantic aviation joint venture. The long-standing Italian traditions of hospitality and service form the backbone of this airline’s world-class services.
With an all-new revamped fleet, Alitalia flies to 94 destinations across more than forty countries. The daily flight departure number is over 600 and the annual passenger count equals 25 million.
Alitalia’s frequent flyer program is called MilleMiglia and has nearly four million members. Customers can accumulate points and spend them on Alitalia flights and benefits from exclusive clubs and the services of dozens of commercial partners.
China Airlines has consistently been Taiwan's largest airline company and one of Asia's leading carriers since it was founded in 1959. It is one of the largest airlines connecting the greater China region, covering 27 countries, 89 destinations, 191 daily departures and 13 million-plus annual passengers.
A pioneer of mobile and electronic services, Air China’s fleet is one of the world’s most advanced. The two-million strong Dynasty Flyer Program offers its members a wide range of value-added service along with frequent flyer miles.
Among the three major Chinese airlines, China Eastern flies to 193 destinations across 28 countries. With 1600 daily flights, this airline transports almost 69 million passengers every year.
With a modern fleet of aircrafts, quality service is the primary focus of China Eastern. Its frequent flyer program, Eastern Miles, is known for its innovative ways of creating value-added services. From redeeming miles for upgrades or extra baggage allowance to a range of lifestyle awards..
With over 1900 flights daily, China Southern’s network spans 193 destinations spread across 35 countries. It transported more than 80 million passengers in 2011, ranking it first in Asia and third globally.
Reliable and on-time quality service continues to be the key mantra for this carrier. Its frequent flyer program, Sky Pearl Club, is the largest and most popular in China. Members can earn free trips on China’s largest airline, as well as access benefits from China Southern’s global partners.
The Czech Republic’s flagship carrier, Czech Airlines flies to 41 destinations across 27 countries. With nearly 140 daily departures, its yearly passenger load is more than four million people.
Among Europe’s five oldest airlines, Czech Airlines is a subsidiary of Czech Aeroholding. OK Plus, its frequent flyer program, is designed so that customers earn points on every Czech Airlines flight and flights of SkyTeam Alliance partners. These points can be redeemed not just against flight tickets but for several non-airline services like hotel accommodation, car rentals and banking services.
Africa’s leading carrier, Kenya Airways is based in Nairobi. It flies to 53 locations across 30 countries, with an annual passenger load well over three million travellers.
Product quality and operational performance continue to be the key driving forces for this airline. In 1995, Kenya Airways entered into an alliance with KLM, Europe’s premier aviation firm. In 2005, it became the first sub-Saharan airline to achieve the IOSA certification, which is a rigorous safety measure. Travellers can also take advantage of the Flying Blue loyalty program.
The Royal Dutch Airline was founded in 1919 and is the world’s oldest carrier. It merged with Air France in 2004 to create Europe’s strongest airline group. It is also a member of the trans-Atlantic joint venture with Delta Air and Alitalia.
KLM flies to more than 130 destinations covering 69 countries. The daily departures exceed 650, while its yearly passenger count is over 23 million. The Flying Blue frequent flyer program makes it simple for passengers to earn miles and redeem them against the global network of flights. Customers can also access a host of other benefits as part of the program.
Among the founding members of the SkyTeam Alliance, Korean Air is one of the top 20 airlines in the world. It covers 120-plus destinations across 41 countries, while more than 23 million passengers use the airline annually, making it the largest Asian airline in the Americas. Korean Air also has the distinction of being the world’s most successful in-flight regulator.
Its Skypass loyalty program helps members earn miles and bonus gifts from partner airlines and hotels. Some of its partners include American Express, Hyatt Hotels and Hertz rental cars.
Middle East Airlines
Lebanon’s national carrier, Middle East Airlines is the leading airline in the region. A true reflection of the Lebanese tradition of hospitality and good service, it gives its customers a luxurious experience both on and off the ground.
Based in Beirut, Middle East Airlines averages 30 destinations across 20 countries, with 57 daily departures. It has a fleet of 18 planes with an annual passenger load of over two million.
Its loyalty program, Cedar Miles, gives passengers a simple way to earn miles every time they travel on a SkyTeam carrier or spend money with select non-airline partners.
Established in 1945, Saudia has in recent years undergone a sea change in terms of modernisation, qualitative development and overall improvement in services. It flies to 78 destinations across 36 countries, with an average of more than 400 daily departures.
Its loyalty program is known as Alfursan. The program aims to provide frequent travellers with a multitude of awards and privileges that are intended to make travelling more rewarding.
Romania’s flagship airline was founded in 1954 and has grown into a world-class aviation company with one of the youngest fleets in the entire industry. Based in Bucharest, Tarom travels to 37 destinations across 22 countries, with nearly 100 departures daily.
Partners in the Flying Blue loyalty program can access the benefits of SkyTeam’s global network and earn miles on all flights. The awards are credited to each customer’s online account and can be redeemed against tickets to a destination of your choice or used to access a number of other benefits.
A combination of Vietnamese traditions and European innovations, Vietnam Airlines aims to take air travel to the next level. Connecting almost 50 destinations across the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the United States, Vietnam’s national carrier is focused on providing travellers with convenience.
The airline’s trans-Indochina network connects travellers to the region’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. Its frequent flyer program, called the Golden Lotus Program, was established in 1999 and provides a variety of services including upgrades and excess baggage allowance.
This airline operates in southeastern China and has its headquarters in Xiamen. It connects 58 destinations across eight countries.
Founded in 1984, Xiamen Air’s daily departures exceed 400 flights. The airline covers most major and medium-sized cities in greater China and its loyalty program, the Egret Club, is a miles accrual and redemption program. You can also earn miles by using co-branded credit cards.
Pros and cons of SkyTeam Alliance
- Ease of travel. You can choose from a huge array of flight combinations to get you where you want to go and also generate plenty of frequent flyer miles in the process.
- Extensive coverage. Thanks to the 19 airline members, SkyTeam has more than 15,000 daily flights to 1000-plus destinations.
- Lounge access. SkyTeam Elite Class members as well as Business and First Class travellers enjoy complimentary access to most SkyTeam lounges across the world.
- Guaranteed reservation on sold-out flights. If you are an Elite member you can be assured of a seat on any of SkyTeam’s long-haul flights worldwide.
- Baggage allowance. Elite members can carry up to 10 kg of extra baggage while Elite Plus members have the allowance to carry up to 20 kg of extra luggage.
- Priority check-in and boarding. Elite members have the benefit of faster check-in, priority positions and boarding at their convenience.
- Corporate benefits. SkyTeam helps seamless connection and streamlining with regard to global corporate events.
- Targeting frequent flyers. Most of the Alliance’s benefits are targeted towards SkyTeam’s Elite members or frequent flyers on the network, rather than one-off fliers.
- Select countries not included. Some of the benefits are not extended to certain countries by certain airlines, while the network’s presence in some areas is limited, such as the Oceania region.
- Redeeming miles. Remember to redeem your frequent flyer miles before the end of the year, as most airlines reset their miles calculator from January every year.
Frequently asked question about SkyTeam Alliance
Frequent flyer miles
Does SkyTeam have a separate loyalty program?
SkyTeam does not have its own frequent flyer program. Member airlines have their own loyalty schemes allowing passengers to redeem miles across their global network. Membership in one of the airlines’ loyalty programs entitles passengers to earn miles and access other perks across their network of airlines.
Is there a special alliance card?
SkyTeam does not offer a separate alliance card to frequent flyers on its network. It recommends you join the frequent flyer program of the airline you travel with the most, and then take advantage of benefits across the alliance.
How do I redeem frequent flyer miles?
Passengers earn miles on SkyTeam-operated flights and redeem them through awards on offer across the Alliance. However, there are some exceptions depending on the route and the class of ticket purchased.
Can I transfer or combine miles?
The frequent flyer programs are independent and miles earned separately on different airlines within the network cannot be combined. Each airline gives a set number of benefits that are available across the Alliance and passengers can take advantage of those.
How do I book award tickets
You have to contact the service centre of the specific airline from which you want to redeem the miles and book award tickets. The airline can direct you with regards to the available options and routes.
How do I upgrade with frequent flyer miles?
SkyTeam launched the first phase of its mileage upgrade plan in 2008. Nine of the 19 members are currently participating in this scheme, which lets flyers use miles accumulated on one airline to upgrade to Business Class on other airlines which are also part of the alliance. For complete details and provisions, please check the website of the primary airline.
How can I check my frequent flyer miles balance?
You can log onto your online account or speak to your airline’s customer care service for details.
What if my frequent flyer miles are not credited?
This again is the responsibility of the primary airline whose frequent flyer program you are enrolled in. If miles are not credited to your account, you must contact the airline’s customer service personnel to rectify the problem. You can add miles retrospectively for up to six months.
Elite and Elite Plus membership
What are the different status levels in your loyalty programs?
SkyTeam has two status levels in its loyalty programs: SkyTeam Elite and SkyTeam Elite Plus.
How can I become a member?
SkyTeam has created these tiers to easily identify customers who are frequent flyers on one or more of the airlines within its network. This is done with the purpose of extending maximum benefits to frequent flyers.
What are the benefits of Elite membership?
Elite members enjoy a wide range of benefits. These include;
- Priority reservation waitlist but (depending on the fare)
- Preferred seating
- Priority check-in
- Priority boarding
What are the benefits of Elite Plus membership?
Elite Plus members are eligible for all the above benefits plus a range of additional perks. These include;
- Members have a guaranteed Coach/Economy class reservation on any SkyTeam Alliance long-haul flights—even ones that are sold out.
- Access to airport lounges across the world
- Priority baggage handling
How many miles are required to convert to Elite membership?
For full details about your frequent flyer program, contact the customer service desk of the airline which offers you the loyalty program.
How many lounges does SkyTeam have worldwide?
SkyTeam has more than 500 lounges across the world.
Who has access to SkyTeam lounges?
International First and Business Class passengers along with Elite Plus members enjoy complimentary access to every SkyTeam lounge across the world. However, passengers should be travelling on a flight operated by a SkyTeam member airline.
What’s required for lounge access: SkyTeam status or a ticket?
All Business and First Class international passengers can access the exclusive lounge facilities offered by SkyTeam member airlines on the day of travel. Passengers simply have to present their tickets. Remember that access to the lounge is valid only for 24 hours before the scheduled departure of your flight. In most cases you can access the lounge only in airports from which the flight is departing. You will not have access to the lounge in arrival airports unless there is a connecting flight from there.
Can my guest access exclusive SkyTeam lounges?
If you are an Elite Plus member you can invite a guest to join you in the lounge. However, your guest must also be travelling on the same flight or another flight operated by one of the SkyTeam partners.
How do I find SkyTeam lounges?
SkyTeam’s website has a unique lounge finder option that can help you find the appropriate lounge from the 530-plus SkyTeam lounges around the world. You can also consult the customer desk of the airline you are travelling with for further details.
Round the World Planner
What are the benefits of the Round the World Travel Planner?
This tool will help you create Round the World tour itineraries. However, you have to start and end your travel in the same city and also ensure you travel in the same direction, either east or west. This tool helps you easily work with these complex conditions and develop a tour plan where you get the maximum benefits at the minimum possible costs. It helps you optimise your experience while generating savings at every step.
What are the benefits of booking a Round The World Trip with SkyTeam?
This special tool lets you be your own boss. You can plan your itinerary at your own pace and at your convenience, choosing the exact number of locations that you would want to visit. There is no jumbling up of destinations, no unimaginative travel plans and no last-minute glitches. Your trip is planned exactly the way you want it and when you want it.
Map View is an additional feature. It gives you the exact geographical details of your trip and helps you decide on airports, time spent in each location and how to approach your destination in the most comfortable and cost-effective way.
How can I access the Round the World Planner?
Log into the SkyTeam website and select the ‘Round The World Planner’ to launch it in a separate tab.
Round the World Pass
Is SkyTeams Round the World Travel Pass valid on all flights?
This pass is valid on all flights operated by the SkyTeam Alliance across the world.
How many flight coupons am I entitled to?
Your pass entitles you to a maximum of 15 stops during your journey. The minimum number of stops is three.
How long are the passes valid?
Round the World Travel Passes are valid for one year from the date of issue.
Is advance planning necessary?
As long as your tour itinerary is decided in advance, you are free to choose the flights using your Round the World Pass as you progress ahead in your journey.
What cabin class will I be in with my Round the World Pass?
You are under no obligation to book your tickets in a particular class with these passes.
Are there any discounts for children?
There are various grades of discounts depending on the age of your child. For an infant on your lap without a seat, you will be charged 10% of the fare. If you book a separate seat you will be charged 75% of the fare for the child. For children between 2-11 years of age, 75% of the fare will be charged.
How many stopovers are permitted with the Round the World Travel Pass?
Staying in any particular city for more than 24 hours is considered as a stopover. When the World Pass is used a maximum of 15 such stopovers can be spread across the entire itinerary.
What is the maximum number of transfers?
A maximum of two transfers per city are permitted with the Round The World Pass.
Is there a non-air transport option during my Round the World journey?
If you want to travel on road or use any other means of surface transport between two locations, you are free to do so. The miles that you earn between the two cities will be added to your account.
Can I earn frequent flyer miles with my Round the World Pass?
How do I book a Round the World Pass?
You can easily book these passes on the websites of SkyTeam member airlines or even ask your travel agent to do it on your behalf.
What is SkyPriority?
SkyPriority offers select customers a series of in-airport services, including priority check-in and baggage drop-off, all designed to make air travel as convenient as possible.
What services are offered?
There are various types of services offered. They include;
- Priority check-in areas
- Priority baggage drop-off
- Priority at airport ticket offices and transfer desks
- Priority lines at security and immigration wherever possible
- Priority boarding and baggage handling
Who is eligible?
Elite Plus members as well as First Class and Business Class travellers are eligible for this service.
Are SkyPriority benefits available at all locations?
These benefits may not be equally available at all locations as they are still being rolled out across the network.
Can you buy SkyPriority benefits?
SkyPriority is a special service provided at the discretion of SkyTeam which can’t be bought. It is given to First and Business Class travellers and SkyTeam’s Elite Plus members.
General alliance questions
When was SkyTeam launched?
SkyTeam was founded on June 22, 2000, by four airlines: Aeromexico, Air France, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air.
Who are the member airlines?
Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, Tarom, Vietnam Airlines and Xiamen Air.
How big is SkyTeam’s operation?
Nearly 570 million passengers use SkyTeam’s services annually, across 1024 destinations in 178 countries. The daily departure rate of fights is 15,000.
What benefits does the alliance provide to customers?
Customers get access to a global network with more connectivity, increased flight frequencies and greater comfort. Passengers can plan trips involving multiple carriers and reap benefits like frequent flyer miles.
How do member airlines benefit?
Airlines can offer their customers access to routes and destinations that they might not be flying on their own. It also helps with the consolidation of costs and efficiency of services.
Where are SkyTeam’s target areas for growth?
SkyTeam is looking at opportunities to maximise the reach of its network and service areas like India and Brazil. Indonesia’s Garuda Airlines is scheduled to join SkyTeam in 2014.
What are the key criteria for eligibility for airlines?
SkyTeam is very careful when deciding on partners to join its alliance, ensuring that quality and safety are not compromised. IOSA certification is compulsory. Network compatibility and growth potential of the carrier are other factors taken into consideration.