Oneworld will this morning unveil SriLankan Airlines as its latest member elect during the annual general meeting in Beijing.

Full details will be disclosed by Oneworld chief executive Bruce Ashby and SriLankan Airlines chief executive Kapila Chandrasena during a media event at the AGM today.

The Sri Lankan flag carrier is expected to join the alliance late next year, with Cathay Pacific Airways as its sponsor, guiding it through the implementation process.

The carrier already codeshares with Oneworld member designate Malaysia Airlines, which is itself due to join the alliance this year. It will soon also announce an agreement in principle to codeshare with fellow members Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines.

"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," says airline chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe.

SriLankan will add three new destinations in southern India - Kochi, Tiruchirapalli and Thiruvananthapuram - to Oneworld's network of 850 destinations in 150 countries. It operates 21 aircraft to 34 destinations in 22 countries.

After Air Berlin joined the alliance this year, Oneworld now has 11 active members.

Source: Flight Daily News