First carrier from Indian subcontinent to enter any global alliance
SRI LANKA, 2014-03-10 — /Travel PR News/ — SriLankan Airlines will become a full member of oneworld®, offering the alliance’s complete range ofservices and benefits with effect from Thursday 1 May 2014 – as the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent to become part of any global airline groups.
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 31 March, 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 1 May 2014, the 400,000 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 31 March, its merger partner US Airways, from North America; LAN and, also from 31 March, TAM from South America; and more than 30 affiliated airlines.
FlySmiLes Platinum cardholders will have Emerald status in the oneworld programme. FlySmiLes Gold will be equivalent tooneworld Sapphire and FlySmiLes Classic will be oneworld Ruby.
From 1 May, FlySmiLes Platinum and Gold members will be able to use any of the more than 600 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines whenever they fly with one of the alliance’s carriers. SriLankan Business Class passengers will also be able to use oneworld partner airline lounges.
Also from 1 May, the 150 million members of the other oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld benefits on SriLankan.
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. From 1 May, SriLankan’s network will be covered by oneworld’s full and extensive range of alliance fares and sales products.
Its addition will bring two new destinations on to the oneworld network – Sri Lanka’s new Hambantota International and India’s Tiruchirapalli.
SriLankan already code-shares with oneworld members Malaysia Airlines and S7 Airlines with code-share agreements with a number of other oneworld partners at an advanced stage of discussion.
SriLankan’s oneworld implementation programme has represented one of the most extensive projects in the airline’s history, with working groups covering some 20 streams of activity. Projects are nearing completion to bring its various internal processes and procedures into line with the alliance’s requirements, and extensive employee training and communications programmes are now underway at SriLankan and the alliance’s existing members, to ensure they are ready to provideoneworld’s customer services and benefits across the expanded alliance from 1 May.
SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said: “With the world airline industry increasingly focused on alliances, joining oneworld will be a significant development for SriLankan Airlines. Joining the alliance will help put SriLankan more firmly on the global aviation map and vastly improve Sri Lanka’s connections with the rest of the world, with all that means for our country’s vital tourism industry.”
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.”
oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby said: “In SriLankan Airlines, oneworld is pleased to be adding another high-quality airline that will enhance oneworld’s network and product offerings in one of the world’s fastest growing regions for air travel demand.”
Images and logos
A selection of print-quality images and logos of SriLankan Airlines, oneworld and its existing member airlines can be downloaded from oneworld.com/toolkit
About SriLankan Airlines
Tracing its origins back to 1947, SriLankan Airlines today is the flag carrier airline for Sri Lanka but also the largest international airline serving the Maldives and with a significant presence in southern India too.
It has virtually doubled in size since peace returned to its home country four years ago and plans further substantial expansion to its fleet and network in the next few years.
It now operates a fleet of 21 aircraft – including seven Airbus A320s, five A330-200s and six A340-300s, with an average age of nine years.
Using the airline code UL, it carried 4.7 million passengers last year between its Colombo base and 32 destinations in 20 countries across Asia, Europe and the Middle East, including oneworld hubs Doha, Hong Kong, London Heathrow, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow Domodedovo and Tokyo Narita, along with Bangkok and Singapore.
oneworld is an alliance of the world’s leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and convenience to frequent international travellers. With SriLankan and the other airlines lining up to join, its members:
- Serve almost a thousand airports in more than 150 countries, with more than 14,000 daily departures.
- Carry some 480 million passengers a year on a combined fleet of almost 3,500 aircraft.
- Generate US$ 140 billion annual revenues.
oneworld member airlines work together to deliver consistently a superior, seamless travel experience, with special privileges and rewards for frequent flyers, including earning and redeeming miles and points across the entire alliance network. Top tier cardholders (Emerald and Sapphire) enjoy access to more than 600 airport lounges. The most regular travellers (Emerald) can also use fast track security lanes at select airports and extra baggage allowances.
oneworld is currently the holder of an unprecedented seven leading international awards for airline alliances – named World’s Best Airline Alliance in the 2013 World Airline Awards by the independent Skytrax airline quality ratings agency, Best Airline Alliance in the 2013 Business Traveller Awards and the Premier Traveler Best of 2013 Awards, the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2013 Awards for the fourth year running, the World’s Leading Airline Alliance in the 2013 World Travel Awards for the 11th year running, Australian Business Traveller Best Airline Alliance in 2012 for the second year running, and FlightStats Airline Alliance On-Time Performance 2012 winner, in what was believed to have been the first time a punctuality award has been presented to any global airline alliance.