SriLankan Airlines will become a full member of oneworld, offering the alliance’s complete range of services and benefits with effect from Thursday May 1st 2014 – as the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent to become part of any global airline alliance.
The national airline of Sri Lanka received clearance to board oneworld, the world’s leading quality airline alliance, after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness conducted by Cathay Pacific Airways, which is sponsoring its entry into the alliance, with the oneworld central team.
Its addition to oneworld will come a month after the alliance welcomes TAM and US Airways on board, on March 31st, concluding the group’s biggest yet expansion programme.
Senior executives from oneworld’s established member airlines – which include some of the leading carriers from each of the world’s regions – will gather in Sri Lanka on the eve of SriLankan’s addition to the alliance, to welcome it to the fold.
From the first flights on May 1st 2014, the 100,000 members of SriLankan’s FlySmiLes loyalty programme will, in effect, have their frequent flyer privileges extended to whenever they fly with any oneworld member airline.
These include leading carriers from each global region – fellow Asia-Pacific carriers Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qantas; Europe’s airberlin, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and Russia’s S7 Airlines; Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian, from the Middle East; American Airlines and, from March 31st, its merger partner US Airways, from North America; LAN and, also from March 31st, TAM from South America; and more than 30 affiliated airlines.
As part of oneworld, SriLankan will be able to offer all of its customers seamless connections across a global network serving almost a thousand destinations in more than 150 countries, with first rate connections between the world’s leading business centres.
SriLankan is already participating in Global Explorer, the round-the-world fare offered by all oneworld members and various airlines that are not part of the alliance.
Its addition will bring two new destinations on to the oneworld network – Sri Lanka’s new Hambantota International and India’s Tiruchirapalli.
SriLankan Airlines chief executive Kapila Chandrasena added: “As an airline highly focused on quality service, we are extremely proud to be lining up to become part of the highest quality alliance with the best airline partners offering a global network that best complements our own.
“We look forward to offering all the many benefits of oneworld to our customers very soon now.”