SriLankan Airlines Joining OneWorld Alliance March 1, 2014

Update, per Australian Business Traveller: Oneworld says that SriLankan Airlines will not be officially joining the airline alliance on March 1st, despite yesterday’s confirmation from SriLankan’s own PR department of that date.

In mid-2012 SriLankan Airlines announced they would be joining the OneWorld alliance, with hopes of finalizing the arrangements by late 2013. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, though in October they announced a target join date of April.

Per Australian Business Traveller, it appears as if they’ll do even better than that — SriLankan has announced that they’ll be joining the OneWorld alliance on March 1, 2014. Keep in mind that generally when an airline joins OneWorld, all partner programs offer double miles for flights on them for a few months. I expect that will happen here as well, so I’d say if you book a revenue ticket on SriLankan between March and May (at least) you can expect to earn some bonus miles.

As I mentioned in the previous post, 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.

Comments

  1. I’m playing an AAdvantage (ie miles-based) Oneworld Explorer award for this fall, and am curious if anyone knows whether Sri Lankan (being a full OW member) will also be available for me to book premium award seats on. Having another option in Asia would make award booking a bit easier!

  2. But if you are an EU-based AA member, then 3 out of the 6 oneworld options to the Maldives don’t work due to the stupid routing rules (Sri Lankan, Cathay, Malaysian are not allowed). It’s even worse for Mauritius (only allowed option is BA) and the Seychelles (no options as far as i can see).

  3. UPDATE: SriLankan PR jumped the gun on their announcement and oneworld’s corp comms confirmed that March 1st is in fact NOT the joining date. The Ausannounce that date for at least another month. The story on AusBT article referenced has been updated since.

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