Beijing, June 11 (IANS) Global airline alliance ‘Oneworld’ Monday said the Colombo-based SriLankan Airlines would join its ranks towards the end of 2012.
Nordic carrier Finnair, which is part of ‘Oneworld’ alliance, welcomed the move which will help other airlines who are part of the pact to provide competitive prices, cost savings and add more destinations to the alliance’s network.
“SriLankan Airlines’ joining of the alliance means further growth in the coverage of South Asia and strengthens the competitiveness of Oneworld in a globally competitive environment,” said Paavo Virkkunen, responsible for Oneworld relations at Finnair.
“Finnair’s connections to SriLankan Airlines’ destinations, such as the Maldives, will improve as a result and the Finnair-plus loyal customer programme will widen to include SriLankan’s network.”
The selection of SriLankan Airlines for membership was announced on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) World Transport summit being held in Beijing.
The airline will also bring in three new destinations in southern India to the ‘Oneworld’ network, namely Kochi, Tiruchirapalli and Thiruvananthapuram.
Currently, the alliance has 12 airline members and two member-elect passenger carriers.
After SriLankan Airlines’ accession to the alliance, the Oneworld network will cover about 860 destinations in over 150 countries.