Vietnam Airlines officially joined the SkyTeam alliance on 10 June, as the global airline grouping increases its focus on Asia.
Joining SkyTeam links Vietnam Airlines to a global network covering more than 850 destinations in 169 countries. The airline’s customers can now earn and redeem frequent flyer miles when travelling on flights of all other SkyTeam carriers, while customers of the other members get the same benefit on Vietnam Airlines flights.
“The joining today reaffirms Vietnam Airlines’ position as a major carrier in the Southeast Asian region as well as a strategic partner of SkyTeam,” says Dr Pham Ngoc Minh, president and chief executive of Vietnam Airlines. He adds that the move will contribute to “the international economic integration of Vietnam”.
“Asia is an important and strategic growth market for SkyTeam and we well are on track to strengthen our network offering in this part of the world,” said Leo van Wijk, the alliance’s chairman. “Together with our current members China Southern and Korean Air and future member China Eastern, Vietnam Airlines brings us closer to becoming the leading alliance for Asia.”
Vietnam Airlines adds 20 new destinations to the SkyTeam network, the chairman says.
The carrier has spent the last 14 months working to meet the group’s membership requirements, ranging from customer service elements such as the recognition of frequent flyer programmes, lounge access and priority baggage handling, to establishing codeshare agreements with its 11 alliance partners. After Vietnam Airlines successfully passed the required audit in May, the SkyTeam Governing Board officially approved the membership.