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September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Sri Lankan Airlines will become a member of Oneworld on May 1.
The move means it will become the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent to become part of any global airline alliance.
The national airline of Sri Lanka received clearance to join Oneworld after completing a thorough review of its readiness conducted by Cathay Pacific Airways, which is sponsoring its entry into the alliance.
An airline alliance is an agreement between two or more airlines to cooperate on a significant level, bringing many benefits to the traveller. The three largest passenger alliances are the Star Alliance, Skyteam and Oneworld.
From May, the 100,000 members of Sri Lankan’s ‘Fly Smiles’ loyalty programme will, in effect, have their frequent flyer privileges extended to whenever they fly with any Oneworld member airline.
As part of Oneworld, Sri Lankan will be able to offer connections across a global network serving almost a thousand destinations in more than 150 countries.
The airline already codeshares with Oneworld members Malaysia Airlines and S7 Airlines, and other agreement with other partners at an “advanced stage of discussion”.
Sri Lankan Airlines has seen a significant growth since peace returned to Sri Lanka four years ago.
It now operates a fleet of 21 aircraft from its Colombo base and flies to 34 destinations in 22 countries across Asia, Europe and the Middle East, including the Oneworld hubs of London Heathrow, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo Narita.
Sri Lankan's entry into Oneworld will bring three new destinations to the network - Kochi, Tiruchirappalli and Thiruvananthapuram, all of which are in Southern India and will expand the alliance's global coverage to 860 destinations in more than 150 countries.
Sri Lankan Airlines CEO, Kapila Chandrasena, said: “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.”