SriLankan Airlines Joining OneWorld Alliance May 1, 2014

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. Then in January there was further confusion when SriLankan’s PR team confirmed that they would be joining on March 1, which wasn’t the case.

Anyway, we now have an official press release from OneWorld confirming that SriLankan will join the alliance on May 1, 2014.

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 at the time:

SriLankan-Business-Class

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

(Tip of the hat to David)

Comments

  1. Whats their FF pogram like ? Any sweet spots on their award chart ? Do they sell miles cheaply ?

    What we need is a one world equivalent of lifemiles !!!

  2. @ Mike S. — Award chart doesn’t look especially lucrative to me, and unfortunately haven’t seen any opportunities to buy their miles for cheap.

  3. I flew shanghai Bangkok a few months ago in business, and was quite amused that the drink list said under champagne: “international brand”.
    I wonder if that brand could have been from France ?

  4. Any other airlines have the same style as their new J? That looks pretty unique with the large ottomans like that. I don’t think I have seen that before.

    It would in theory be pretty roomy unless the bed is just not that long.

  5. I think they recently announced that some of those China routes are going nonstop from Colombo, so fifth-freedom options to BKK are going to be fewer in the near future.

  6. @ Diondi Tan — Nope, they’re not partners yet, and I wouldn’t necessarily count on them becoming partners prior to the alliance join date.

  7. PVG and PEK have already been zeroed out on Sabre – flights are gone. Only CAN and HKG will stay.

  8. For everyone’s information, The true SriLankan’s New Business class product is a fully flat 80″ seat. It is shown in the first picture as seen above. It is indeed very nice and I assure the their outstanding service will blow minds of those who try it.
    And as for the second picture, as many of you might know about the BMI ( Brititsh Midland International ) airlines; and SriLankan purchased an A330 which is presently known as 4R-ALG of SriLankan airlines is operating the BMI business class, since SriLankan didn’t change the business cabin.
    So sir, as you see… The new business class product is rolled out in 7 long haul aircrafts ( 5 A330s and 2 A340s ) and the 4R-ALG ( A330 ) and the 4R-ADG ( A340 ) are having the BMI business class and the Cathay pacific first class and business class respectively. ( please note – The first class on the ADG is exclusive since srilankan doesn’t operate first class service )
    So I hope this was at least a small help to discard your suspicions on the SriLankan business class. 🙂
    Oh! And btw, starting today (31st ) SriLankan will operate direct ( non-stop ) flights from Colombo to Beijing.

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