SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, today signed a SkyTeam Alliance Associate Adherence Agreement (SAAAA) agreement with the Romanian airline TAROM, indicating the airline is on the track to join the alliance as an Associate airline. As part of the process, TAROM must meet a set of predetermined requirements, in areas such as operations, technologies and products, in order to ensure that its quality of service standards and operating performance are in line with those of SkyTeam member airlines.
Once these conditions have been met, TAROM will receive formal approval from the SkyTeam Governing Board, becoming the fourth SkyTeam Associate airline, after Air Europa, Copa Airlines and Kenya Airways which joined the Alliance in September 2007.
The agreement was signed today at a ceremony at Snagov Palace in Bucharest in the presence of Ludovic Orban, Minister of Transport of Romania, Gheorghe Birla, President and CEO of TAROM and Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Chairman and CEO of AIR FRANCE KLM.
«Our Associate Programme illustrates the Alliance’s global network strategy. It enables us to extend and deepen our offer on buoyant regional markets», declared Jean-Cyril Spinetta. «SkyTeam has long viewed TAROM as a key partner as the alliance further develops its global network offerings. With its hub at Bucharest, already served by some of SkyTeam member airlines, the Romanian airline will give SkyTeam passengers access to 130 additional daily flights to Eastern Europe and the Middle East».
Passengers travelling on TAROM flights will have access to the same benefits offered by the eleven SkyTeam member airlines and three current associate airlines. These benefits include coordinated frequent flyer programmes on TAROM operated flights and greater access to airport lounges.
«TAROM’s association with SkyTeam will be an important stage in the history of our airline,» declared Gheorghe Birla. «As we look the future, this will serve as a new step in TAROM’s development, since we know that alliances have a great impact on the creation of new customer services.»
The SkyTeam Associate Program applies to carriers wishing to take advantage of the benefits of a major alliance, without necessarily having to meet all of the governing and organizational criteria required from fully-fledged member airlines.
Each Associate Airline is assigned a current Member to act as its Sponsor and help in the joining and integration processes, as well as represent the interests of the Associate Airline in all decision-making situations with Member Airlines. TAROM will be represented in the alliance governance by Air France.
The Associate Program is part of SkyTeam’s strategy to develop a global network to provide its 428 million annual customers with enhanced services
With a fleet of 21 aircraft, TAROM carries over 1.8 million passengers annually to 40 destinations in 25 countries in Europe, but also in the Middle East and North America. www.tarom.ro.
SkyTeam is the global airline alliance partnering eleven members, including Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern, Continental Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air and Northwest Airlines, and three Associate Airlines: Air Europa, Copa Airlines (Panama) and Kenya Airways. SkyTeam offers its 428 million annual passengers a worldwide system of more than 16,400 daily flights covering 841 destinations in 162 countries. www.skyteam.com.