SriLankan Airlines, the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent to join any global airline alliance, became part of oneworld®, offering the full range of services and benefits of the world’s fastest growing and highest rated global airline alliance. SriLankan’s induction into oneworld marks the completion of the alliance’s biggest expansion programme since its launch 15 years ago.
The induction ceremony, hosted by Nishantha Wickremasinghe, Chairman – SriLankan Airlines and Kapila Chandrasena, CEO – SriLankan Airlines was attended by key ministers from the Government of Sri Lanka and senior executives from across oneworld at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota.
Now, SriLankan Airlines will fly alongside some of the world’s leading carriers such as Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qantas from the Asia Pacific Region; airberlin, British Airways, Finnair and S7 Airlines; Qatar Airways-the only one of the Big Three Gulf carriers to be part of any alliance-and Royal Jordanian from the Middle East; American Airlines and its merger partner, US Airways from North America; and TAM Airlines, LAN Airlines and its partner LATAM Airlines Group from South America.
The airline’s addition to oneworld will bring two new destinations to the alliance network, Hambantota and Tiruchirapalli, India along with its Colombo base as a new oneworld hub. With an extensive schedule serving southern India and as one of the leading international airlines serving the Maldives, SriLankan also significantly strengthens oneworld’s presence in South Asia, one of the world’s fastest growing regions for air travel demand.
With SriLankan, oneworld now serves almost 1,000 airports in 150 countries, with 14,250 daily departures, carries more than 500 million passengers a year on a combined fleet of some 3,300 aircraft, generates USD 140 billion of annual revenue and offers more than 600 airport lounges, including many frequently rated as the world’s best.
Members of SriLankan’s FlySmiLes loyalty programme will have their frequent flyer privileges extended to whenever they fly on oneworld member airlines-including earning rewards and tier status points plus the ability to redeem rewards for flights throughout the alliance network.
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. With the induction, its network will be covered by oneworld’s full range of alliance fares-the most extensive offered by any of the global alliances, including the oneworld Explorer round-the-world fare. This is further extended with the addition of a new Visit South Asian Sub-Continent pass, marking SriLankan’s addition to oneworld, and offering great value flights in the region in conjunction with an international sector there.
To celebrate SriLankan’s addition, all FlySmiLes cardholders will receive double their usual FlySmiLes miles when flying on most oneworld partners until June 30th, 2014. Members of most established member airlines’ loyalty programmes will receive double the normal mileage awards/points when flying on SriLankan during the same period.
Reflecting on the joining of SriLankan to the alliance, Bruce Ashby, CEO of oneworld said, “the addition of SriLankan Airlines concludes what has been the biggest and fastest growth programme by any global airline alliance, enabling oneworld to consolidate its position as the first choice global alliance for frequent international travellers the world over. In SriLankan, we are delighted to be adding another high quality, fast expanding carrier to the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated global airline alliance.”
Rupert Hogg, COO of Cathay Pacific added, “Cathay Pacific has been very pleased to serve as SriLankan’s sponsor into oneworld, supporting and mentoring it through its alliance implementation programme. We wish SriLankan, its customers and employees a warm welcome on board.”
Nishantha Wickremasinghe, Chairman – SriLankan Airlines, “with the world airline industry increasingly focused on alliances, joining oneworld is one of the most significant developments to date for SriLankan Airlines. Joining the alliance will help put SriLankan more firmly on the global aviation map and vastly improve Sri Lanka’s connectivity with the rest of the world, which is vital for our country’s trade and tourism.”
Kapila Chandrasena, CEO of SriLankan Airlines affirmed, “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.”