Global airline alliance SkyTeam will build a new facility with shared check-in and reservation options for passengers when its members move under one roof at Heathrow”s Terminal 4.
To be completed in spring 2009, a common check-in area will include self-service kiosks allowing alliance passengers to access travel reservations with any of the ten member carriers at the airport.
There will also be additional bag drop-off points and check-in desks, all of which will ”improve passenger flow through the terminal, reduce congestion and reduce operating costs for member airlines” said a SkyTeam statement.
”Co-locating our member operations at London Heathrow will allow Skyteam to offer our customers worldwide a superior travel experience in one of the most contested markets in the world,” said SkyTeam airport and infrastructure special projects chairman, Giorgio Callegari.
”We strive to provide our customers with a hassle-free journey before, during, between and after their flights. In order to maximise this customer offering at Heathrow, we are working together as an alliance and with BAA to make the necessary renovation investments in T4.”
The alliance”s move to its new home begins this March, when US members ” Continental, Delta and Northwest ” join KLM and Kenya Airways at the terminal, together flying 11 supplementary daily services between London and the US.
It will then be a year until the rest ” Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, Czech Airlines and Korean Air ” join them.
”The development of SkyTeam”s profile at Heathrow is a long-term priority for the alliance, supporting our ongoing focus on providing seamless connections for our customers,” said Callegari.
BAA is spending ”100m ($194m) on expanding and renovating T4 as part of its whole airport relocation project, and is working closely with SkyTeam, which is investing in this facility itself. A spokesman would not reveal a figure for the cost at the moment however, saying it is still more than a year from completion.
BAA”s improvements will include a redeveloped forecourt, and ”new and refurbished CIP lounges which will enable airlines to develop their business product offers and give passengers a greater number of service choices,” a spokeswoman told ABTN.