Australian travellers will have more reason to take notice of the SkyTeam alliance when Garuda Indonesia joins the group in 2012.
Garuda’s membership will help raise SkyTeam's local profile. Among local frequent flyers it's easily the least known of the three main inter-airline groups, although SkyTeam is actually ahead of OneWorld (and behind Star Alliance) in terms of member airlines, destinations, passengers and market share.
Through its member airlines SkyTeam offers flights to almost 900 destinations in 169 countries, with some 420 lounges worldwide.
SkyTeam’s 13 member airlines include Delta, Air France-KLM and Korean Air, and the alliance has made a concerted effort to boost its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. Vietnam Airlines signed up to SkyTeam earlier this year while China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines are all set to join by 2012.
Emirsyah Satar, Garuda president and CEO said membership is part of the airline’s long term development strategy. He said Garuda has already been co-operating with other member airlines for some time.