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The Traveller's Magazine
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Skyteam is a decade old airline alliance, the second largest in the world, that recently celebrated its 10th birthday in June by welcoming new airlines to the team: Air Europa, TAROM and Kenya Airways. So, what is an airline alliance and how do they benefit travellers?

SkyTeam was originally founded by Aeroméxico, Air France, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air but has grown to more than a dozen airlines since then. Today the airline alliance offers 13,000 flights daily to 898 worldwide destinations in 169 countries!In the near future it hopes to add China Eastern Airlines to its team as a full member, thus providing even more options for travellers looking for cheap flights to China for business trips or just leisure travel.

What is an airline alliance?

An airline alliance is an agreement made between two or more airlines to share passengers on flights, services, lounges, points and on many other operational levels. If two airlines, for example, fly the same route London-Bangkok and both flights are half-booked, two code-share airline companies may decide to combine the flights together to save fuel and money. This is possible because of Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam, the largest airline alliances in the world.

How do they benefit travellers?

  • travellers have access to lower airfares and more cheap flights because overall airline costs are lower
  • there are more departure times to choose from on any given route
  • more destinations are within reach and are easily connected thanks to international airline working together
  • travel times are shorter because of faster connection times at airports between flights
  • airport lounges and other airport services are available to more passengers flying with different airline companies
  • you can earn more miles/points from a single journey if you travel with different carriers in the same airline alliance
  • Round-the-world airline tickets are available at much lower prices to travellers who want to circle the globe

Img: kylemccluer / flickr cc

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