The SkyTeam airline alliance has centralized operations, appointing a management team and securing a location in Amsterdam for its global headquarters.

SkyTeam, which named Marie-Joseph Malé managing director in April, recruited six executives from partner airlines to serve on the management team.

"SkyTeam has operated as a virtual entity since its inception," Malé said. "However, as the industry becomes increasingly complex and the alliance continues to pursue global growth, the transition to a central management structure remains a top priority."

The six executives are Mauro Oretti of Alitalia (vice president, sales and marketing), Gordon Humpherys of Delta (vice president, airport services), Ji-sung Hong of Korean Air (vice president, alliance operations), Min Zeng of China Southern (deputy managing director, membership development), Jean-Guy Lengline of Air France (vice president, support and services) and Fatima da Gloria de Sousa of KLM (director, brand and communications).

SkyTeam said it is recruiting people from inside and outside the organization to form a team of 20 employees.

The alliance's offices at the World Trade Center Schiphol Airport will be operational by the fourth quarter of 2009, SkyTeam said.

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