SkyTeam and Vietnam Airlines signed a preliminary agreement yesterday confirming the airlines’ first step towards full membership into the SkyTeam alliance. The agreement outlines Vietnam Airlines’ intentions to undertake exclusive discussions to become a part of SkyTeam in 2010, pending fulfillment of the alliance’s membership requirements. The signing ceremony took place in Hanoi, Vietnam, and was attended by Mr. Ho Nghia Dung, Vietnam’s Minister of Transport, senior officials of the government and ministries of Vietnam, as well as leaders of Vietnam Airlines and of SkyTeam.
“Vietnam Airlines will enhance SkyTeam’s network in Southeast Asia, adding a number of new destinations throughout the region,” said Mr. Dominique Patry, SkyTeam Steering Committee chairman and senior vice president of International Affairs and Alliances, Air France. “Given its existing service to five alliance hubs and its broad international network, Vietnam Airlines is a strategic partner for the alliance.”