SriLankan Airlines To Join OneWorld Alliance April 2014

Last June SriLankan Airlines announced they would be joining the OneWorld alliance, with hopes of finalizing the arrangements by late 2013. While that target date won’t happen, unfortunately, it has now officially been announced that SriLankan Airlines intends to join OneWorld by April 2014. So we at least have a more specific target date now.

SriLankan

I’m quite excited about SriLankan joining OneWorld. Admittedly,  their limited longhaul operations won’t be a game changer, but regionally they have quite a  strong route network.

I was originally enthused about SriLankan because I figured they’d be one of the only ways to get to the Maldives on OneWorld miles, though in the meantime options for those hoping to redeem miles to the Maldives have expanded dramatically.

Still, SriLankan will be a nice addition, and the new routes this opens up for OneWorld flyers goes well beyond flights to/from Sri Lanka. I love their fifth freedom routes from Bangkok to Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

SriLankan-Bangkok-Service

SriLankan’s regional route network will be especially useful on OneWorld Explorer awards around Asia. While OneWorld already has a fairly strong longhaul presence in Asia with Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines, their shorthaul operations are often limited. So these new routes out of Bangkok open up some great options.

SriLankan even has what looks to be a really nice, updated, business class product. Their website is so bad they don’t even make reference to it online, but the refreshed product is now available on many of their longhaul flights:

I last flew SriLankan several years ago, and this was their “new” business class product:

SriLankan-Business-Class

And it’s worth noting that even with the older product I’ve always enjoyed SriLankan’s food and service.

I’m definitely looking forward to SriLankan’s membership in OneWorld, and hope they begin a reciprocal mileage agreement with other OneWorld partners prior to the official join date.

(Tip of the hat to DestinationDavid)

Comments

  1. which is good, because I’m still waiting for your confirmation on whether the fax machine exists (family members who flew on it last June weren’t too amused by the possible presence of a fax machine and didn’t ask the crew on my behalf 🙁 )

  2. on the BKK-HKG route, isn’t it actually still better to fly Cathay because they have first class on this route?

  3. @ Lantean — Yeah if you can get a flight with first class absolutely. But if the flight is operated by a regional aircraft, I’d take SriLankan over Cathay’s regional business class.

  4. Can you actually ticket MLE-CMB (without continuing to LGW) on BA? If so, that’s an interesting option for explorer awards…

  5. There was rumor that they where going to start CMB-SEZ-NBO. I really hope this will start. Would be a great addition to the Oneworld network.

  6. Looks like OW is trying to firmly reeforce itself as a serious presence again! Nice! What has *A done lately? Things are looking up.

  7. How soon might we be likely be able to redeem for awards on Sri Lankan? I’m planning to fly CMB-MLE on April 1st (which might be the first day of their new membership). BA doesn’t fly on this particular date unfortunately.

  8. @ TrAAveller — Any answer would be total speculation unfortunately. I doubt they’ll be in OneWorld by April 1, though it wouldn’t surprise me if they have a reciprocal agreement with some OneWorld members by then.

  9. The travel experience we had with Sri Lanakan airlines had always been a nightmare. UL 218, 10.40 pm flight from Doha to Colombo on December 11th was cancelled due to technical problem, but there was no standard operating procedure to handle the stranded passengers. This caused me,my 4 year old daughter and my sister in law tremendous damage to our valuable time, health and mental wellbeing as a result of sri lankan airlines simply mishandling the incident by violating international law.

    Passengers were waiting in terminal until early next morning (almost 4 hours) to hear the official announcement saying the flight was cancelled. Until then, there was no decision to run a back up plan.

    Following questions from frustrated customers to take proper protocol , they finally decided to transfer us to a distant terminal to place us in alternate flights. During this prolonged process into the afternoon of next day I, my 4 year daughter and sister in law had to suffer through many things: loss of sleep, body ailments, hygene issues, and tremendous frustration (my daughter had to rest on floor sometimes).

    Even after asking to prioritize my family with a child, we were only taken back and forth (wrong terminal 1st attempt) for alternate flight. there was no proper protocol nor communication about the procedure and simply no care for family with children.

    We landed in sri lanka on December 13 via Qatar Airways. Due to the overbooking of flight, two of our baggages
    were misplaced. We had to buy clothes with our own money and spend more time from our holiday to retrieve lost baggage, claim money for transportation for collecting baggage, endless calls, emails to settle compensation (no viable compensation until now) , and endless calls and emails to rearrange my in flight duty free items I had purchased (one item is still not rearranged and my return flight is tomorrow, December 31). Basically as of now, I have no guarantee of receiving my items, nor receiving seamless travel experience with my outbound flight. As a oneworld airline member, they should be more committed to customers, not just using the label for marketing.

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