SriLankan Airlines will join the alliance with Cathay Pacific Airways as its sponsor. Cathay Pacific Airways will guide SriLankan Airlines through the implementation process. SriLankan Airlines already codeshares with Oneworld member designate Malaysia Airlines, which is scheduled to join the alliance at the end of 2012.
Nishantha Wickremasinghe, SriLankan Airlines chairman, said,
With the world airline industry increasingly focused on alliances, SriLankan has carried out in-depth analysis of the options open to the airline as we enter this latest phase of our development. Oneworld is very clearly the best option for us. Joining the alliance will help put SriLankan more firmly on the global aviation map and vastly improve our connections with the rest of the world.
SriLankan Airlines, the flag carrier of Sri Lanka, operates from its base at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital. The airline flies to many destinations in Asia and Europe.
Oneworld is one of the world's three largest global airline alliances, with the other two being Star Alliance and SkyTeam. Five original members, namely American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas, founded Oneworld in 1999. Over the last decade, several airlines have joined the alliance as full members or affiliate members. Oneworld currently has 11 active members.
Currently, Oneworld and its members-elect reach over 870 destinations in 150 countries. The alliance has a combined fleet of 2,400 aircraft, and operates 9,500 daily flights.
When SriLankan Airlines joins the alliance, it will add three new destinations in southern India (Kochi, Tiruchirapalli and Thiruvananthapuram) to the alliance.