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Alliance executives provide update on future of alliance

MILAN, April 1, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — SkyTeam today announced new initiatives that include a new alliance organization, a new managing director, a new fare pass, a timeline for the opening of its co-located facility at London Heathrow Terminal 4, and the debut of the first plane with the new alliance livery. The alliance released the news in conjunction with a press briefing in Milan by the SkyTeam Steering Committee.

Introducing a Centralized Management

Leo van Wijk, chairman of the SkyTeam Governing Board, announced that SkyTeam is moving toward a centralized SkyTeam management entity. Some of the functions that will be handled by the central organization include: marketing, sales, airport synergies and transfer product, cargo, advertising and brand, alliance operations, finance and corporate communications.

Marie-Joseph Malé has been appointed the managing director of SkyTeam's newly created management and support organization. Mr. Malé, who has extensive experience with Air France in the Commercial and International areas, will be responsible for finalizing the organizational structure of SkyTeam, including the appointment of a management team. The goal is to have the structure and management team in place by late 2009.

"Since its founding almost nine years ago, SkyTeam has evolved tremendously – in terms of members, network, and product and service offerings," Mr. Malé said. "My main objective is to maintain the level of collaboration that helped the alliance achieve so much, but also ensure that the alliance is nimble and ready to act on future opportunities."

Unveiling the SkyTeam Livery

Also in Milan, SkyTeam debuted its new alliance livery as Delta Air Lines flight 74 from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport touched down at Milan's Malpensa Airport displaying the SkyTeam colors.

All SkyTeam member airlines have committed to paint at least one aircraft with the new SkyTeam livery by the end of this year. The planes will enter service in graduated phases throughout 2009.

SkyTeam to Offer Italy Pass

SkyTeam announced that passengers traveling to Italy on intercontinental round-trip tickets will soon be able to take advantage of the new SkyTeam Italy Pass and benefit from discounted flight coupons on Alitalia and AirOne domestic flights. Sold outside Italy and Europe, the SkyTeam Italy Pass will require a minimum purchase of three one-way flight coupons for a minimum of two stopovers within Italy.

Update on SkyTeam at London Heathrow

The alliance also provided a brief update regarding its plans for a co-located facility in Terminal 4 of London's Heathrow Airport. Working with BAA, SkyTeam is making significant progress on the renovations in the check-in area and its first branded lounge. The first level of the lounge is slated to open in June, with the second level scheduled to open in conjunction with the final member airline moves and the completion of the facility, currently forseen in November.

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