SriLankan Airlines has officially become a member of the oneworld alliance.
The Colombo-based national carrier joined the airline group on 1 May 2014, becoming oneworld’s 15th full member and its fifth in Asia Pacific. It also becomes the first ever South Asian airline to join a global airline alliance. SriLankan’s membership was sponsored by Cathay Pacific.
“With the world airline industry increasingly focused on alliances, joining oneworld is one of the most significant developments to date for SriLankan Airlines,” said the airline’s chairman, Nishantha Wickremasinghe.
“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 will add two new destinations on to oneworld’s route map – the Sri Lankan hub of Hambantota and Tiruchirapalli in southern India. oneworld now serves almost 1,000 airports in 150 countries, carrying 500 million passengers a year on 14,250 daily flights.
SriLankan has already adorned one of its Airbus A330 aircraft in the oneworld livery.
“The addition of SriLankan Airlines concludes what has been the biggest and fastest growth programme by any global airline alliance,” said oneworld’s CEO, Bruce Ashby. “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.”
SriLankan becomes the seventh new member of oneworld in the past five years. Since 2009, S7, airberlin, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, TAM, US Airways and now SriLankan have all joined the alliance. Other existing members include American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Qantas and Royal Jordanian.