SriLankan Airlines on track to join Oneworld

Tuesday, 25 February 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

BANGKOK: It will be the first South Asian carrier to join a global alliance. Oneworld, Skyteam and Star – the world’s three giant alliances – have been struggling for years to integrate into their respective group a South Asian carrier – obviously due to the enormous potential that represents the Indian subcontinent. Looking first at Indian carriers, the dream has turned mostly into a nightmare for alliances’ partners. Star was the first to announce the integration of Air India back to 2009 to finally suspend all negotiations two years later. It is only in December 2013 that Air India was officially invited to join again. The same painful story occurred to Oneworld. The alliance announced the integration of Indian private carrier Kingfisher Airlines. However, the collapse of the carrier at the end of 2012 and its bankruptcy conducted of course to the ‘disintegration’ of Kingfisher membership… Skyteam has been so far the only one not to dare to announce any future partnership. Although they were rumours about Jet Airways… But now, this is the turn of SriLankan to join oneworld. The airline is an excellent alternative with its network of 65 destinations worldwide and its 23 aircraft including the Airbus A330-200 and the Airbus A340-300 for its long haul network. The carrier was for many years managed by Emirates which is reflected by the high quality standard of the airline. Some 17 additional aircraft have been ordered including the brand new Airbus A350-900.  Last December SriLankan Airlines upgraded its passenger reservations and inventory control system by adopting IT platform AMADEUS Altea Suite. The program enabled the carrier to become a more ‘customer centric’ carrier. The cutover is important for the expansion of SriLankan Airlines and for its induction into the oneworld alliance early 2014.  The Amadeus Altea Suite is the common IT platform used by several airline members of oneworld. The system enables SriLankan Airlines’ and Mihin Lanka to effectively manage reservations, inventory and departure control processes. An online booking facility for FlySmiLes tickets – SriLankan reward program – was also introduced in December. Now, it is only a question of days before an official date of integration is announced. But this would likely occur within the next three months. (Source: Traveldailynews)