Skyteam member airlines are launching an online system for frequent flyer programme members to book award flights on any flight operated by other alliance members.
The new booking facility is being rolled out over the coming months with ten member airlines already launched.
Fatima da Gloria de Sousa, Skyteam's director of brand and communications, told Business Traveller it will "definitely" be in place by the end of the year.
It will allow loyalty members with any of the alliance's 20 member airlines to book award availability seats on another Skyteam airline online.
Currently, members have to phone their individual programme call centres to complete an award booking involving multiple carriers.
The change will mean every frequent flyer programme member in the alliance will have an online booking tool for booking reward flights on other alliance member airlines.
Skyteam has also introduced Skytransfer, an "initiative to enhance seamless and efficient transfers for customers and their baggage being implemented in different stages across the globe".
As part of Skytransfer, PNR servicing will make the rebooking process easier by allowing any Skyteam member to access the affected Skyteam pasenger's reservation and offer best possible rebooking solution during a disruption.
As previously reported, the alliance is opening three new lounges this year, in Dubai, Beijing and Hong Kong, following the recent launch of its Sydney facility (see news, January 30).
The Dubai lounge will open in the airport's new Concourse D, the launch of which has been delayed and is not expected to be ready before August.
The Beijing and Hong Kong lounges are due to open in September. All three will have a new look and feel aimed at creating an "oasis of calm", de Sousa said.
Graham Smith and Michelle Harbi