Oct 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka's flag carrier, SriLankan Airlines will become a full member of the global airline alliance, oneworld in early 2014, it has been announced.
SriLankan Airlines was invited to join oneworld in June 2012 and is on track to become a member of the alliance in early 2014, adding one of Asia's fastest growing airlines to oneworld.
According to oneworld, SriLankan Airlines is the first airline from the Indian subcontinent to join any global alliance.
SriLankan's introduction along with the introduction of Qatar Airways on October 30 will make oneworld the leading alliance in the region.
SriLankan already maintains a code-sharing partnership with another Oneworld member, Malaysia Airlines, and has also announced similar agreements with Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines.
The flag carrier has seen a significant growth since peace returned to Sri Lanka in 2009.
SriLankan Airlines operates a fleet of 21 aircraft from its Colombo base and flies to 64 destinations in 34 countries in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Far East, North America, Australia and Africa, including the Oneworld hubs of Hong Kong, London Heathrow, Moscow Domodedovo and Tokyo Narita.
The airline's hubs are located at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, Hambantota.
Once SriLankan becomes a full member of oneworld, members of its Fly SmiLes frequent flyer programme will enjoy additional benefits including the ability to earn and redeem points across the oneworld network and access to more premium lounges around the world.
The airline' chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said: "Joining the alliance will help put SriLankan more firmly on the global aviation map and vastly improve Sri Lanka's connections with the rest of the world, with all that means for our country's vital tourism industry."