SriLankan Airlines and Etihad Airways have joined hands in a historic partnership between the National Carriers of Sri Lanka and the UAE, which will significantly enhance the route networks of both airlines.
From 1st October 2008, SriLankan will begin codesharing on Etihad flights to Amman, Geneva, Dublin, Munich, Brussels, and Manchester. Etihad will do the same on SriLankan’s flights to Male in the Maldives.
The initial partnership between the two award-winning airlines commenced in September 2007 when Etihad began codesharing on SriLankan’s flights between Abu Dhabi and Colombo.
Manoj Gunawardena, CEO of SriLankan, said: “SriLankan Airlines looks forward to a fruitful long-term relationship with Etihad. We are very happy with the success of our partnership up to now. I have no doubt that the new agreement will be of significant benefit to our passengers throughout Europe and Asia, including Sri Lanka.”
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive, said: “Etihad’s codeshare with SriLankan Airlines has worked well during the last year and we are pleased to extend the deal and provide our customers with flights to the Maldives which we expect will be hugely popular with our holidaymakers.”
Codesharing refers to the arrangement between two airlines by which passengers of one airline can book flights on the other. Passengers then have an increased number of destinations to fly to. For the airlines, it provides opportunities to serve more destinations without having to invest in more aircraft and infrastructure. Codesharing is usually between airlines of similar standards, to ensure that passengers receive excellent service.
For SriLankan, the codeshares through Abu Dhabi from Geneva, Dublin, Munich, Brussels, and Manchester will greatly enhance European tourists’ accessibility to Sri Lanka, a traditional leisure destination with its palm-fringed golden beaches and excellent surf. They will also serve Sri Lankan expatriates domiciled in Europe. The codeshare to Amman will serve labour traffic in Jordan, where a large number of Sri Lankans are employed.
Etihad’s codeshare on SriLankan’s flights to Male will provide its customers with access to the luxury holiday destination of the Maldives. SriLankan is the largest carrier into the Maldives with 15 flights per week.
Etihad and SriLankan have also signed a reciprocal agreement to link their respective frequent flyer programmes - Etihad Guest and FlySmiLes. Members of both programmes will be able to earn and redeem miles when travelling on all Etihad and SriLankan flights, including those covered by the new codeshare agreement.
Etihad currently has codeshare agreements with Jet Airways, Yemen Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Philippine Airlines, Middle East Airlines and UK-based airline bmi. SriLankan presently has codeshares on flights of Malaysia Airlines and bmi, while Indian Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines codeshare on SriLankan’s flights.
About SriLankan Airlines
SriLankan Airlines is the National Carrier of Sri Lanka, with its hub in Colombo. It has a route network of 41 destinations in 22 countries in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and the Far East.
About Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates based in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi. Currently Etihad offers flights to 48 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australia. The airline currently has a fleet of 38 aircraft which will increase to 40 by the end of the year.