BUCHAREST, Romania, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- TAROM Romanian Air Transport officially joined the SkyTeam global airline alliance at a ceremony held in Bucharest today. By welcoming TAROM into SkyTeam, the alliance further strengthens its network reach in Central and Eastern Europe. TAROM becomes the 13th carrier to join SkyTeam, which marked its 10th anniversary on 22 June.
The SkyTeam alliance brings TAROM important opportunities for its future growth by bringing access to a global network offering 898 destinations in 169 countries. Effective today, TAROM passengers can earn and redeem frequent flyer miles when flying on all services operated by SkyTeam member airlines. Members of other SkyTeam airlines' frequent flyer programs can also earn and redeem miles when traveling on TAROM-operated flights.
TAROM's joining into the SkyTeam Alliance was officially announced in Bucharest, by Mr. Radu Berceanu, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure from Romania, Mrs. Ruxandra Brutaru, President and CEO of TAROM Airlines, Mr. Leo van Wijk, Chairman of the SkyTeam Governing Board, Mr. Marie-Joseph Male, Managing Director of SkyTeam and Mr. Dominique Patry, Vice President International and Alliances at Air France.
Over the past two years, TAROM has worked intensively to fulfill the alliances' membership requirements, ranging from customer service elements such as the recognition of frequent flyer programs, lounge access and priority baggage handling, to establishing codeshare agreements with SkyTeam members.
"By joining the SkyTeam Alliance, TAROM opens a new page in its 55 years of history," said Mrs. Brutaru. "Implementing the joining process was quite challenging, because we had to concentrate, in 2009 - a year defined by the global economic crisis - on regaining our market share and obtaining an increase in passenger numbers of up to 20%. It is indeed a historical event, acknowledging our staff's professionalism and high quality service."
"As we continue to expand our network around the globe, Europe remains a key strategic market for our alliance. We are proud to welcome Romania's national carrier into our alliance today, further underling SkyTeam's commitment to Central and Eastern Europe. TAROM firmly contributes to this promise, by adding 11 new destinations to the SkyTeam network," said Leo van Wijk.
"SkyTeam now comprises seven European airlines, offering a comprehensive network throughout the continent, as well as hundreds of nonstop intercontinental flights to Asia, Africa, North and Latin America each day," said Marie-Joseph Male. "A number of SkyTeam carriers already serve TAROM's hub in Bucharest and SkyTeam corporate customers will benefit from the inclusion of TAROM in all the global deals we offer clients, helping to facilitate trade and commerce between Romania and the rest of the world."
With a fleet of 26 aircraft, TAROM carries over 1.7 million passengers annually to over 40 destinations and having a turnover of 191.4 million euros in 2009, the Romanian national carrier TAROM is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) since 1993 and the Association of European Airlines (AEA) since 2000. TAROM operates to 45 destinations in summer 2010, covering countries from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. In 2009, when TAROM was named "The Most Trusted Brand" in the airline category by the prestigious publication Reader's Digest Romania, the national company transported over 1.7 million passengers and had a load factor over 56 percent. For 2010, TAROM estimates over 2 million passengers carried and a load factor of 60%. www.tarom.ro
SkyTeam is a global airline alliance providing customers from member airlines access to an extensive global network with more destinations, more frequencies and more connectivity. Passengers can earn and redeem Frequent Flyer Miles throughout the SkyTeam network. SkyTeam member airlines offer customers over 415 lounges worldwide. The thirteen members are: Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, TAROM Romanian Air Transport and Vietnam Airlines. SkyTeam offers its 395 million annual passengers a worldwide system of approximately 13,000 daily flights to 898 destinations in 169 countries. SkyTeam celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2010. www.skyteam.com