Garuda Indonesia has today become the 20th member of the Skyteam airline alliance.

Garuda becomes the second airline from southeast Asia to join the alliance, after Vietnam Airlines.

An airline alliance is an agreement between two or more airlines to cooperate on a significant level, bringing many benefits to the traveller. The three largest passenger alliances are the Star Alliance, Skyteam and Oneworld.

Garuda serves 64 destinations in 12 countries and currently flies to six Skyteam hubs — Seoul, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and Amsterdam. It is also due to start flights from Gatwick to Jakarta in May 2014.

The news was first reported by BBT in December and has now been confirmed by Skyteam and Garuda.

Michael Wisbrun, Skyteam’s managing director, said: “Garuda’s entry into the alliance will give its customers access to Skyteam’s 1,064 destinations that cover more than 90 per cent of the most relevant traffic flows in the world.

“Garuda strengthens our presence throughout the Asia-Pacific region for our 588 million global passengers.”

Effective immediately, Garuda passengers will be able to earn and redeem miles when flying on Skyteam member-operated flights.

And, members of other Skyteam airline frequent flyer programmes can also earn and redeem miles when flying on Garuda Indonesia-operated flights.

Emirsyah Satar, president and CEO of Garuda, said: “Today is a significant and historic event for Garuda Indonesia as we officially become the 20th member of Skyteam.

“For the past three years, Garuda Indonesia has been actively forging cooperation with the other 19 member airlines with this objective in mind and it has been an incredible journey.

“Garuda Indonesia is now able to offer customers global reach with a seamless and even more convenient travel experience, while at the same time establishing Indonesia firmly on the map of global air travel.”

As part of the requirements of joining the alliance, Garuda is implementing Sky Priority – priority airport services for Elite Plus, First and Business Class passengers worldwide – which has been rolled out at over 900 global airports.

Garudaindonesia.com

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