SriLankan Airlines joins oneworld


WEBWIRE – Wednesday, April 30, 2014

•  First carrier from Indian subcontinent to join any global airline alliance

•  Completes biggest expansion of world’s premier alliance since its launch 15 years ago

•  Key government ministers witness unveiling of first SriLankan aircraft in oneworld livery at joining ceremony at Asia’s newest airport, Hambantota’s Mattala Rajapaksa International

•  Bonus miles/points for frequent flyers to celebrate

•  New Visit South Asian Sub-Continent pass added to leading range of alliance fares

•  SriLankan to code-share with two more oneworld partners – Finnair and S7 Airlines

SriLankan Airlines becomes part of oneworld® from midnight tonight, offering the full range of services and benefits of the world’s fastest growing and highest rated global airline alliance.

It becomes the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent to join any of the global airline alliances – and completes oneworld’s biggest expansion programme since the alliance was launched 15 years ago.

These landmarks are being celebrated today at a ceremony attended by the key ministers from Sri Lanka’s government at South Asia’s newest international airport, Hambantota’s Mattala Rajapaksa International, serving Sri Lanka’s South and East Coasts and Hambantota’s sea port.

From midnight, the flag carrier of Sri Lanka will be flying alongside some of the world’s leading carriers:


SriLankan’s first flight as part of oneworld will be UL318 departing from Colombo to the Kuala Lumpur hub of oneworld partner Malaysia Airlines at 7.45 am tomorrow (1 May).

The airline’s addition to oneworld will bring two new destinations on to the alliance network – Hambantota  itself plus India’s Tiruchirapalli – along with its Colombo base as a new oneworld hub.   With an extensive schedule serving southern India and as the leading international airline serving the Maldives, SriLankan also significantly strengthens oneworld’s presence throughout South Asia, one of the world’s fastest growing regions for air travel demand.

With SriLankan, oneworld:


What it means for frequent flyers and other customers

From 0001 Colombo time tonight, the 300,000 members of SriLankan’s FlySmiLes loyalty programme will, in effect, 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. 

Also from tonight, the 180 million members of the established oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn rewards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld benefits when flying on SriLankan and redeem awards on the airline’s network.   

For full details of what SriLankan’s entry into oneworld means to frequent flyers, see separate press release

As part of oneworld, SriLankan will be able to offer all of its customers seamless connections across a global network serving almost 1,000 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 midnight tonight, 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 market-leading oneworld Explorer round-the-world fare. 

From tomorrow, this range of alliance fares will be 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.   For full details, see separate press release.

Special frequent flyer miles offers to celebrate

To celebrate SriLankan’s addition to oneworld, all FlySmiLes cardholders will receive double their usual FlySmiLes miles when flying on most oneworld partners between 15 May 2014 and 30 June.  Members of most established member airlines’ loyalty programmes will receive double the normal mileage awards/points when flying on SriLankan during the same period.  For further details, exceptions and requirements, see separate news release and individual airlines’ frequent flyer websites

SriLankan seals code-share agreements with two more oneworld partners – Finnair and S7

On the eve of its entry into oneworld, SriLankan today concluded code-share agreements with two more oneworld members – Finnair and Russia’s S7 Airlines.

It already has code-sharing in place with oneworld’s Malaysia Airlines while code-share discussions with other oneworld partners are at an advanced stage.

Code-sharing is a wide-spread airline industry practice whereby the marketing code of one airline is placed on a flight operated by another carrier.  This has the effect of expanding the network offered by the marketing carrier without having to operate the flights itself, thereby enabling it to earn more revenue, while at the same time offering more choice to customers and making connections for them between the two airline partners’ networks even more seamless.

SriLankan and S7 agreed to code-share last year, pending regulatory approvals – which have now just been granted.  From 15 May, S7’s designator will be added to flights operated by SriLankan between their Colombo and Moscow Domodedovo hubs, and also Colombo and Bangkok.  At the same time, SriLankan’s UL prefix will be placed on services operated by the Russian airline between its own Moscow Domodedovo base and Chelyabinsk, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, St Petersburg, Volgograd and Yekaterinburg, effectively adding six key cities in Russia to SriLankan’s network.  These code-share flights open for sale tomorrow (1 May).

From 2 June, Finnair will add its AY code to flights operated by SriLankan between the latter’s Colombo base and Bangkok, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London Heathrow, Paris CDG and Rome, while SriLankan’s UL designator will be placed on connecting services flown by Finnair between the latter’s Helsinki hub and Frankfurt, London Heathrow, Paris CDG and Rome and also between Helsinki and Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm.                

SriLankan Airbus A330 in oneworld livery unveiled, launching massive marketing drive

SriLankan’s addition to oneworld is being celebrated today at a ceremony in the presence of key Ministers from Sri Lanka’s government at South Asia’s newest international airport, Hambantota’s Mattala Rajapaksa International, which serves the country’s South and East Coasts and Hambantota’s sea port.

Hosted by SriLankan Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe and Chief Executive Officer Kapila Chandrasena, the event was attended by senior executives from across oneworld, including:


In front of scores of media from around the world, Senior Minister Hon. Dr Sarath Amunugama, unveiled the first SriLankan aircraft to be decorated in a special oneworld livery – an Airbus A330, which will act as a giant flying billboard to publicise the airline’s induction to the alliance.

Meantime, oneworld logos will be applied to each of the 21 aircraft in the airline’s fleet from tonight, and at the airline’s facilities at airports and downtown city locations worldwide, signaling that SriLankan is now part of the group.

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. 

Completing the biggest expansion programme yet for the world’s highest rated alliance

SriLankan’s induction into oneworld marks the completion of the alliance’s biggest expansion programme since its launch 15 years ago.  In just two years, the group has added more than 15 airlines as full or affiliate members, including:


This has made oneworld the world’s fastest growing airline alliance:


Meantime, oneworld has consolidated its position also as the most highly rated global alliance, as the current holder of an unprecedented eight of the industry’s leading international “best alliance” awards worldwide.

What the CEOs say

oneworld Governing Board CEO Bruce Ashby 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 travelers 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.”

Cathay Pacific Chief Operating Officer Rupert Hogg 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.”

SriLankan Airlines’ Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said: “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.”

SriLankan Airlines Chief Executive Officer 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 from the start of business tomorrow.”

Logos, photographs and video

Logos and photographs for oneworld and SriLankan can be downloaded in high resolution print quality format from www.oneworld.com/news-information/image-gallery  Photographs from today’s joining ceremony will be available from https://www.flickr.com/photos/123661553@N02/             

SriLankan will be screening live coverage of its joining ceremony from 1000 Colombo time (0530 GMT/UTC) via its website:  www.srilankan.com/oneworld

About SriLankan

Tracing its origins back to 1947, SriLankan Airlines today is not only the flag carrier airline for Sri Lanka but also the largest international airline serving the Maldives and with a significant presence in southern India. 

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 operates a fleet of 21 aircraft – including eight Airbus A320s/A321s, seven A330-200s and six A340-300s – and has orders for 10 new aircraft, including four A350-900s. 

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. 

About oneworld

oneworld is an alliance of the world’s leading airlines, committed to providing the highest level of service and convenience to frequent international travellers.  Its 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.

oneworld is currently the holder of an unprecedented eight 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 Business Traveller’s 2013 awards, by Premier Traveler in its Best of 2013 Readers’ Survey and by Air Transport News in its 2014 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.



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