On the 25th of may in Moscow, the president of Aeroflot, Valery Okulov, and Jean -Cyril
Spinetta, Chairman of Air France, signed a memorandum of understanding to undertake
exclusive discussions to pave the way for the Russian flag-carrier to join the Skyteam
alliance, most probably in 2005. KLM President & CEO Leo van Wijk was present as well.
Membership will only become defintive for the Russian carrier once it meets the
quality requirements set by Skyteam. During the ceremony, Valery okulov declared:
" The prospect of joining one of the world's three leading airline alliances opens up new
development opportunities for Aeroflot. As we speak, our airline is initiating the process
wich will enable it to meet Skyteam's requirements in terms of service quality and organization. We are proud and happy to be laying the groundwork for our membership
in the best of alliances."
Aeroflot was established in 1923. Nowadays , operating a fleet of 92 aircraft and carrying
pax and cargo to 88 destinations in 42 countries, it is the biggest international and domestic
air carrier in Russia.
In 2003, Aeroflot carried 5.8 million pax. The Russian State owns 51% of the airline.
By 2007 , Aeroflot plans to build its own terminal at Shermetyevo airport in Moscow.
Can anyone tell me what exactly is the big difference in "quality of service and organisation" between Aeroflot and the Skyteam members.
From what I hear they are pretty good, and at least, they still serve a descent meal and
alcoholic beverages on SVO-AMS flights as opposed to KLM. (Don't know about the others)
I can understand that KLM is trying to save on the catering of the Europe product, but
I think it's going to far if they apply it on the longest euro-lights such as SVO, LED, IST who
all take more then 3 hours. Not offering a beer and a newspaper on these flights is a bit over the top. I don't think that's in line with the other Skyteam members, or is it???