SriLankan, the flag carrier of the eponymous nation, is set to be announced as the newest member of the oneworld alliance at their annual meeting this week according to a report at FlightGlobal. The addition of SriLankan will increase coverage in South Asia for the alliance and will add only three new destinations, all in India, to the group’s map. As part of the efforts to join the alliance SriLankan will be adding codeshare agreements with a number of other members, including Royal Jordanian and S7. Cathay Pacific will be the sponsoring member of the alliance for the new entrant.
This move is almost certainly a positive for SriLankan as having access to the global alliance and its marketing arm offers many opportunities for the small carrier. It is less clear what the immediate benefits are to the alliance, with nearly all of the destinations covered. Providing access into India and its growing markets is a useful thing, and Colombo isn’t so horrible as an airport for connection, but it is still a rather strange way to get there.
Still, more partner options generally are a good thing for passengers and this will certainly open up a few new routes and connections within the region. Getting to Colombo or Male on awards will become quite a bit easier for oneworld partner passengers, assuming the award inventory with SriLankan is at all reasonable. And getting to Colombo easier means better access to some of the great fares originating there.
Oneworld previously was hoping that Kingfisher would be joining as a member in the region but that plan fell apart as Kingfisher did similarly. And adding SriLankan doesn’t really address the same coverage area at all, though there is minimal overlap.
And, yes, they really do spell the carrier name SriLankan and not Sri Lankan. I have no idea why.
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