SkyTeam will open a new shared lounge facility in Vancouver, Canada later in 2017 for passengers travelling to Asia and North America.
The new facility will be the alliance’s seventh in the world and first in North America. The alliance’s objective is to open lounges in some of the most travelled or most members served airports worldwide where it does not have a hub airline operating. The Vancouver location will be joining others in the following international airports:
- Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) – Terminal 2, after security, Mezzanine level (ranked 2nd most travelled in 2016)
- Dubai International Airport (DXB) – Terminal 1, after security, Concourse D (ranked 3rd)
- London Heathrow Airport (LHR) – Terminal 4, after security, opposite of Gate 10 (ranked 7th)
- Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) – Terminal 1, after security, close to Gate 15 (ranked 8th) (News)
- Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) – International Terminal, after security, near Gate 224 (ranked 14th)
- Sydney International Airport (SYD) – International Terminal, after security, Pier B (East), next to Gate 24 (ranked 38th)
All SkyTeam lounges are accessible by its First and Business customers travelling with a same day departure (domestic and international). Elite Plus elite customers can access the lounge when flying on a SkyTeam member operated flight in all classes. One guest may be permitted if he/she is travelling on a SkyTeam member operated flight. This facilities cannot be used as an arrival lounge.
All locations use a common design strategy with an airy feel featuring lighter tones, wood accents and different palette color furnitures. Lounging areas (some with direct tarmac views), buffet serving hot/cold items, self-serve bar area, business center, showers, wheelchair accessible, and free WiFi connectivity are all standard. Some locations also installed unique features such as Clarins Spa at LHR, Noodles Bar at HKG and Living Wall at IST and PEK.
Why Was Vancouver Chosen?
Vancouver International Airport ranks in the top 20 most travelled airport in North America and is third only to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Franscisco International Airport (SFO) in the number of Asian destinations and passengers served from the west coast. The new lounge located in the international terminal will serve the following member airlines who combine operate over 150 flights weekly (seasonally/year round) to 16 destinations:
- Aeroméxico (2x daily flights to MEX),
- Air France (5x weekly to CDG)
- China Airlines (1x daily to TPE),
- China Eastern (2x daily to PVG, 3x weekly to NKG),
- China Southern (2x daily to CAN),
- Delta Air Lines (6x weekly to ATL, 6x weekly to JFK, 2x daily to LAX, 15x weekly to MSP, 1x weekly to DTW, 34x weekly to SEA, 2x daily to SLC),
- KLM (1x daily to AMS),
- Korean Air (1x daily to ICN) and
- Xiamen Air (3x weekly to XMN)
Skyteam CEO and managing director Perry Cantarutti said that “Increasing the number of shared facilities worldwide realizes significant synergies for our airlines while offering a greatly enhanced airport experience for our top customers”, adding that with the new opening the alliance “will offer more branded airport lounges around the world than any other airline alliance”.
Experience The Skies will follow up on how passengers travelling to the US will gain access to this lounge after clearing US preclearance facility. Typically this would be in a sterile zone and there should be no access to other parts of the airport.
As part of our earlier insight about airline lounges history and innovation, SkyTeam ranks third behind other airline alliances Star Alliance and oneworld in the number of destinations and number of passenger served. It is anchored by founding members Aeroméxico, Air France, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air in June 2000. In all, there are twenty members to the alliance currently.
Star Alliance operates six of their own member shared lounges in:
Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport (GIG), Ministro Pistarini International Airport in Buenos Aires (EZE), Los Angeles International Airports (LAX), Chubu Centrair International Airport in Nagoya (NGO), Paris Charles de Gaulles (CDG) and São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport (GRU).
While oneworld does not operate any shared facilities currently, its members British Airways, American Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways have lounges outside of their main hubs to serve its own and alliance member customers.
Where Should SkyTeam Go Next?
Experience The Skies reviewed the top 30 most travelled airports and locations where SkyTeam has a big presence without a hub airline and shortlisted the following candidates for future expansion for the shared lounge program:
- Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
- Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand (BKK)
- Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India (DEL)
All candidates are included in the 2016’s top 30 most travelled list and have significant SkyTeam presence. None of the member airlines operate a lounge at these locations currently.
Where would you like to see a SkyTeam lounge? Tell us in the comments below and we will pass it onto SkyTeam.