flyLAL – Lithuanian Airlines is invited to join the international SkyTeam alliance as an associate member. Following near two-year negotiation, the Executive Committee of alliance confirmed that the Lithuanian airline meets the requirements set for alliance membership. Having become an associated member of SkyTeam alliance, flyLAL – Lithuanian Airlines will be a preferential alliance partner in the whole Eastern Europe. Final criteria for admission to SkyTeam alliance and the admission date will be confirmed in the short run.
Upon joining the alliance as a member, flyLAL – Lithuanian Airlines will offer passengers more services and privileges. Passengers of flyLAL – Lithuanian Airlines will be able to spend points collected in the loyalty programmes when selecting flights of alliance partners; they will also have a possibility to buy more connecting flights under favourable prices. A system for using business class lounges, also a check-in of flight and baggage to the final destination will be standardised with all alliance members.
SkyTeam is a worldwide airline alliance, partnering passenger and cargo carriers. Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Alitalia, ÈSA, Delta, KLM, Korean Air, Northwest, Air France, etc. are the members of the alliance. Already now flyLAL – Lithuanian Airlines co-operates with alliance members such as Aeroflot, KLM, Alitalia, Air-France and offers passengers connecting flights via Amsterdam, Moscow, Paris, Milan and Rome.
In September 2007, SkyTeam alliance admitted the first associated members: AirEuropa, Copa Airlines and Kenya Airways. This year SkyTeam enlarges membership and, besides flyLAL – Lithuanian Airlines, it currently discusses opportunities of twenty more airlines to become the associated members of alliance.
– To be an associate member of SkyTeam alliance means recognition – membership demonstrates not only high standards of services offered to passengers, but also evidences that internal processes of the airline meet the requirements of alliance“, told flyLAL – Lithuanian Airlines CEO Tadas Pukšta describing the peculiarities of membership in the international alliance. According to him, security, quality and standardisation processes of the Lithuanian airline were always on top, thus negotiations to join alliance did not require extraordinary efforts.
– Today we negotiate with great consideration and discuss what suits our customers best. The airline may be more flexible towards the needs of customers – it is not bound by obligations regarding changes in ticket prices and flight destinations when it is not a member of alliance. Free from membership in alliance flyLAL – Lithuanian Airlines can make offers to clients, launch actions, open new flight directions more easily because it is not required to co-ordinate actions with other alliance partners towards activities in their markets“, said CEO of Lithuanian airline enumerating advantages and shortcomings.
According to him, although Lithuanian airlines strives to become the member of a prestigious airline alliance, negotiations with SkyTeam are based on the principle of not loosing an opportunity to be sensitive to the market needs and flexible in offers to the customers. In any way, according to T. Pukšta, the outcome of negotiations depends on the interests of flyLAL – Lithuanian Airlines passengers.