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New SkyTeam partner -- will NW beat Aeroflot

New SkyTeam partner -- will NW beat Aeroflot

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Old Feb 2, 04, 6:53 pm
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New SkyTeam partner -- will NW beat Aeroflot

How quickly will the KLM-Air France partnership lead NW into SkyTeam?

From NY Times, Business Section, 2/1/04, p. 2

Business People --
"Not the Aeroflot You May Remember

People who think of the Russian airline Aeroflot with alarm from its shaky reputation during the Soviet era may shudder to hear that Aeroflot plans to join the SkyTeam alliance, which includes Delta Air Lines and Air France.

But this is not the Aeroflot of old, known for its aging equipment and gulag cuisine. Aeroflot already operates in Europe under a marketing partnership, known as a code share, with Air France. And if it hadn't reached a deal with SkyTeam, it had another suitor in line for a partnership - namely the Star Alliance, which includes United Airlines and Lufthansa.

In fact, Star Alliance's interest probably did the most to clinch the SkyTeam deal, which has been in the works since 2000. The agreement was reached after a meeting on Wednesday between Jean-Cyril Spinetta, the Air France chief, and Aleksandr Lebedev, who founded the National Reserve Bank of Russia, which owns 30 percent of Aeroflot.

Aeroflot's membership in SkyTeam isn't final. The arrangement requires the approval of the Russian government and "the fulfillment of quality standards required by SkyTeam for all members," the group said in a news release."
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