Air France, KLM and GOL become commercial partners
Sao Paulo – Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Chairman of AIR FRANCE KLM and Constantino de Oliveira Junior, CEO of GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A., which comprises the GOL and VARIG brands, today signed a commercial cooperation agreement in Sao Paulo.
This agreement will enable the 15 million customers who are members of AIR FRANCE and KLM’s “Flying Blue” and GOL’s 6 million “Smiles” frequent flyer programmes to have access to new Frequent Flyers benefits and destinations.
Beginning 1 May, Flying Blue members can earn Miles on all GOL and VARIG flights. Reciprocally, Smiles cardholders can earn Miles on AIR FRANCE and KLM’s networks. Then, as of 1 July, they will all be able to use their Miles as award tickets on all three airlines (AIR FRANCE, KLM, GOL/VARIG).
To mark this agreement, Flying Blue cardholders will double their Miles on all GOL/VARIG flights between 1 May and 31 July 2009. Similarly, Smiles members will be able to double their Miles when travelling on AIR FRANCE and KLM flights over the same period.
The agreement also makes provision for the implementation of codesharing. It has been agreed that by mid 2009, AIR FRANCE will be adding its code to GOL flights between Sao Paulo & Rio de Janeiro and thirteen major Brazilian cities: Belem, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Campinas, Curitiba, Florianopolis, Fortaleza, Iguassu Falls, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador and Vitoria. The number of cities concerned in Brazil could be increased in the next few months. A similar agreement is being prepared between KLM and GOL.
The cooperation will represent one of the most attractive options for passengers travelling to, from or within South America and Europe: together, the three airlines offer 3,300 daily flights to nearly 300 destinations in 114 countries, and complementary route networks that do not overlap.
“AIR FRANCE and KLM offer excellent services between Brazil, South America’s largest economic power and tourist destination, and Paris-Charles de Gaulle & Amsterdam-Schiphol, and the rest of Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia“ declared Jean-Cyril Spinetta. ”Our customers travelling to and from Brazil will have an unrivalled choice of destinations and schedules, which reflects our group’s strategic positioning: to ensure the best possible services between Europe and the rest of the world. By developing our network and airline partnerships, we will be able to cope better with the economic crisis.”
“Our customers can use their Miles within our great network, the most extensive in Brazil and South America. Now, through the agreement between Flying Blue and Smiles, they will have access to the entire world” said Constantino de Oliveira Junior. “This commercial agreement will add more quality and even better services to both partners companies. We are proud to connect people, families and businesses throughout the world with such reliable partners as AIR FRANCE and KLM”.
GOL, one of Brazil’s largest airlines, offers nearly 800 daily flights to 49 destinations connecting the most important cities in Brazil and ten major destinations in South America. The Company operates a young, modern fleet of Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft, the safest and most comfortable aircraft of its class that provides high aircraft utilization and efficiency ratios. The Company’s service, which includes the GOL and VARIG brands, is recognized as the best value proposition on the market.
AIR FRANCE KLM
AIR FRANCE KLM is the largest European air transport group, consisting of a holding company and two airlines, each retaining its brand and its identity: AIR FRANCE and KLM, members of the SkyTeam alliance, operate a vast global network which revolves around their hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol. The Group today represents 75 million passengers, 244 destinations worldwide and a fleet of 607 aircraft in operation. This reflects its newfound position as the global market leader in terms of revenues, with a total revenue of more than 24 billion euros in 2007/2008. AIR FRANCE and KLM operate a total of 35 weekly flights between Paris-Charles de Gaulle/ Amsterdam-Schiphol and Brazil: 21 to Sao Paulo and 14 to Rio de Janeiro.
For more information go to http://corporate.airfrance.com and www.klm.com
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was founded in 1919, making it the world’s oldest airline operating under its original name. In 2004, Air France and KLM merged to form AIR FRANCE KLM. The merger produced the strongest European airline group based on two powerful brands names and hubs —Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle. The two airlines collaborate on three core activities while maintaining their own identities — passenger transport, cargo, transport, and aircraft maintenance.
In the Netherlands, KLM comprises the core of the KLM Group which further includes KLM cityhopper and transavia.com. KLM serves 137 destinations using a modern fleet of 114 aircraft and employs over 33,000 people around the world. KLM is a leader in the airline industry, which offers reliable operations and customer-oriented products resulting from its policy of enthusiasm and sustainable innovation.
KLM is a member of SkyTeam, an airline alliance offering a network of 905 destinations in more than 169 nations on six continents. The KLM network connects the Netherlands to every important economic region around the world and, as such, serves as a powerful driver for the Dutch economy.
In fiscal 2007/08, the KLM Group amassed a turnover of EUR 8.0 billion. The positive operating results amounted to EUR 553 million and the net profit came to EUR 291 million.
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