April, 30, 2014
SriLankan Airlines which joined the ‘‘oneworld’ global aviation alliance with a ceremony at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport this morning, became the first airlines in South Asia to join such an alliance.
Among the national and international guests who attended this ceremony were Senior Minister Sarath Amunugama, Member of Parliament Namal Rajapaksa and SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe.
While speaking at the ceremony SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said that by joining the ‘oneworld’ global aviation alliance SriLankan Airlines is connected to 1,000 airports in 150 countries.
Meanwhile, the SriLankan Airlines flight UL318 departing to Kuala Lumpur at 7.45 am on 01 May would be the first SriLankan flight under the ‘oneworld’ flag. This aircraft too was introduced during the ceremony at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport this morning.
While airlines within the ‘oneworld’ alliance carry more that 500 million passengers a year with the 3,300 aircraft within the grouping. This aviation alliance with members in countries like North and South America, Europe, East Asia, China, Australia etc is said to earn an annual revenue of around USD 140 billion.
SriLanka Airlines has successfully conducted various tests and trials to join this aviation alliance. Accordingly, it had qualified all priliminary trials held by Cathay Pacific Airways together with the main group.
By joining this alliance, from 01 May 2014 the 400,000 current members with SriLankan’s frequent flyer programme ‘FlySmiles’ would be able to enjoy the aviation services of any member airlines within the ‘oneworld’ alliance.
More than 30 airlines in the Asia-Pacific countries like Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qantas, Europe’s AirBerlin, British Airways, Finnair, Arabia Airlines, Russia’s S07 Airlines, Middle Eastern region’s Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, American Airlines, North America’s US Airways and South America’s TAM are within this alliance.
Photographs of the ceremony this morning at Mattala by Rahul Samantha Hettiarachchi