Two Middle Eastern airlines join Skyteam

Two Middle Eastern airlines join Skyteam

Skyteam, an airline alliance including major American carrier Delta Air Lines, recently announced the addition of two Middle Eastern carriers to its network.

Saudi Arabian Airlines, the flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, is scheduled to join the alliance sometime in 2012, allowing business travelers from the United States to take advantage of 35 destinations not previously served by Skyteam member airlines. American destinations served by the Saudi carrier include New York-JFK, Houston and Washington, D.C.

"Saudi Arabian Airlines is a significant player in the Middle East and covers a considerable part of the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent," said Skyteam chairman Leo van Wijk. "Its membership in Skyteam will enable us to compete more efficiently in the region."

Middle East Airlines, the flag carrier of Lebanon, is also expected to join the alliance in the coming two years, as it is scheduled to sign an agreement beginning the membership process at the end of next month. Travelers from the United States will be able to take advantage of the Lebanese carrier's extensive network in the Middle East and West Africa.

By Jason Faulkner

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