24. 11. 2009 - Czech Airlines to Come Together with SkyTeam Members at Heathrow

Prague, 24 November 2009

Starting today, Czech Airlines only fly into and out of Terminal 4 at London’s Heathrow Airport. The change is a part of the plan of the SkyTeam Alliance to move all of its members under one roof at Europe’s largest aerodrome. For passengers, many innovations have been prepared in this connection, including exclusive check-in counters, a new SkyTeam Lounge, and self-serve kiosks. Until now, Czech Airlines has been based at Terminal 2.

The present move is based on the long-term strategy of SkyTeam, of which Czech Airlines is a member, to associate its member airlines in joint check-in areas at European airports. “The mutual cooperation of our members has a very positive effect on our passengers.  This way, we are able to speed up certain processes, such as transfer or check-in, thereby offering more services and far greater comfort within the single corporate identity of the alliance,” says Ladislav Bednář, Alliance Coordinator at Czech Airlines. The first flight that Czech Airlines handles from Terminal 4 was today’s flight OK653 to Prague at 7:35 a.m. The first arrival of a Czech Airlines aircraft to Terminal 4 is also expected today, at 1:45 p.m.

SkyTeam is the first airline alliance to offer a permanent joint facility within one terminal.  “This is the first time ever that member airlines have cooperated from beginning to end in creating a joint facility, at the centre of which is the alliance and its customers,” said Marie-Joseph Malé, SkyTeam’s Managing Director.

Passengers at Terminal 4 of London’s Heathrow Airport can now take advantage of the new and modern two-level lounge. It includes a relaxation room with sofas, a separate area for children, a wellness centre, a wine bar and an oxygen bar, and a rich array of international cuisine.  “If you visit the lounge, you could win a voucher for two persons for 2 nights in the five-star Savoy Hotel in Prague,” adds Ladislav Bednář.  For more information about the contest, please see www.czechairlines.com/trade/competition 

Business Class passengers and passengers with a SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus status will continue to be able to take advantage of exclusive check-in desks in the premium zone and a faster lane for security checks at the airport.  For Economy Class passengers, self-service kiosks will be available from 30 November, through which a passenger can check in for his flight just by entering his electronic ticket number. The passenger can then select his seat number and print up a boarding pass.  His baggage is then only dropped off at a special drop-off counter.

About SkyTeam
From Heathrow’s Terminal 4, passengers can take advantage of the offer of direct flights to SkyTeam Alliance hubs such as Amsterdam, Atlanta, Guangzhou, Milan, Mexico City, Moscow, Nairobi, New York, Paris, Prague, Rome, and Seoul.  Annually, the SkyTeam Alliance carries over 460 million passengers, and in the 2009/2010 winter flight schedule, Czech Airlines provides flights from the capital city of Prague to London Heathrow twice daily, seven days a week.

SkyTeam is a global alliance of airlines, with eight member airlines (Aeroflot, Aeroméxico, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Korean Air) and two associated airlines: Air Europa and Kenya Airways.  SkyTeam offers its passengers a worldwide system with more than 13,133 daily flights to 856 destinations in 169 countries.

At a meeting of the alliance’s Governing Board in Seoul at the beginning of November, the acceptance of two new members was confirmed: Vietnam Airlines and the Romanian national carrier Tarom.  Both airlines will become full-fledged members of SkyTeam at the beginning of next June.  The entry of these airlines is a part of the alliance’s expansion to markets in South-East Asia and Eastern Europe.

Hana Hejsková
Communications Director
Czech Airlines Press Spokesperson