Airlines & Airports
|April 30, 2014|
SriLankan Airlines Joins oneworld
|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:
- Asia-Pacific's Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Australia's Qantas.
- From Europe, airberlin, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and Russia's S7 Airlines.
- In the Middle East, Qatar Airways -- the only one of the Big Three Gulf carriers to be part of any alliance -- and Royal Jordanian.
- In North America, American Airlines and its US Airways merger partner.
- In South America LAN Airlines and its partner in LATAM Airlines Group, TAM Airlines.
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:
- 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 US$ 140 billion annual revenues.
- Offers more than 600 airport lounges, including many frequently rated the as the world's best.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby.
- Representing Cathay Pacific Airways, which has served as SriLankan's sponsor into oneworld, its Chief Operating Officer Rupert Hogg.
- airberlin Vice-President Alliance Development Jörg Schwingeler.
- American Airlines' Senior Vice-President Alliances and Partnerships Kurt Stache.
- British Airways' Director of Strategy and Business Units Lynne Embleton.
- Finnair's Regional Manager South Asia Desmond Chacko.
- International Airlines Group (parent of British Airways and Iberia) Strategy Director Robert Boyle.
- Iberia's oneworld Director Fernando Varela.
- Japan Airlines' Executive Officer for International Relations and Alliances Hideki Oshima.
- LATAM Airlines Group (representing LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines) Managing Director Asia Pacific Patricio Aylwin.
- Malaysia Airlines' Commercial Director Hugh Dunleavy.
- Qantas Regional General Manager South Asia, Middle East and Africa Rohan Garnett.
- Qatar Airways' Chief Planning Officer Richard Roberts.
- Royal Jordanian's Vice-President Planning and Alliances Basma Majali.
- S7 Group Deputy CEO Strategy Vadim Besperstov.
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.
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."
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.