SriLankan joins oneworld on 1 May – new Avios redemption options inc Maldives

SriLankan Airlines has confirmed that it will officially join the oneworld airline alliance on 1st May.  This will allow you to earn and spend Avios points (and earn British Airways tier points) when flying SriLankan.

SriLankan is not a large airline, operating just 21 aircraft to 20 countries from Colombo (below).  It carried 4.7m passengers in 2013.

Routes include Heathrow, Frankfurt and Paris, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Tokyo, so it will open up opportunities for getting around Asia.  There are also a number of flights to and from India and the Middle East.


Importantly, Colombo is also a key stopping off point for The Maldives, with Colombo being just an hour or so from Male.  This opens up yet another potential redemption routing from London, and adds to the new Qatar Airways and Malaysia Airlines options that opened up when they joined oneworld.  Colombo to Male would be just 4,500 Avios.

SriLankan also runs a number of flights out of Bangkok, heading to Shanghai, Beijing (these two are ending soon), Hong Kong and Gaungzhou.  There is also a Tokyo to Male route.


British Airways resumed its own flights to Colombo last year after a number of years, tagging it onto the end of three existing flights to The Maldives each week.

I have never flown SriLankan myself, although feedback on their business class service out of Heathrow looks OK.  They do have a number of new Airbus A350 aircraft on order, however, so I would expect to see major changes in the next few years.  It will be interesting to see what sort of fuel surcharge, if any, are added to the London, Frankfurt and Paris departures.

You can read the official oneworld press release here.

(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

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  1. pacifico says:

    Do you think their affiliates Mihin Lanka who operate Colombo – Seychelles will be a part of OneWorld along with SriLankan or not?

    • Hmmm. Good question. Not necessarily – there are plenty of cases of oneworld airlines whose associates are NOT in oneworld, eg Iberia / BA and Vueling.

    • It has been reported that they will not be a oneworld affiliate partner. So, no.

  2. Richie says:

    I’m off to Sri Lanka on a redemption in 6 weeks. Ba flight and the plane stops in male. I wanted to do 4 days in male and then head on to Sri Lanka later but ba said this wasn’t possible. Stupid as that 1 hour leg is always going to have some spare seats!,. This is good news I’ve heard good things about ssrilanka . Do they not do some kind of route share with ethihad? Similar to air Berlin? I’m sure Ethiad even owns part of them.

    • erico1875 says:

      Its a few year back, but they used to do a route share on DBX /Male/ Colombo with Emirates

      • needroos says:

        Emirates used to own a share and manage Sri Lankan, until they refused to unload PAX in J to make way for government officials. The SL gov withdrew the visa of the CEO and eventually it was nationalized again.

        I have flown Y a couple of times and it is not much to speak about. The fact that they have oldish interiors means that their seats are not crammed as much as other airlines. There J offering is hardly better. Though for a short flight it shouldn’t be a problem. There staff is very good and I atleast enjoyed the food.

  3. It’s worth noting they have some really cheap (£1,100) business class fares to Singapore… Although very long layover times at CMB.

    • Yep, I suspect the earning opportunities (especially TPs) might be better than the redemptions here, although for popular SE Asian destinations, only CMB-HKG is >2000 miles.

  4. I flew Sri Lankan in economy to Bangkok, via Colombo, in 2012. Without a doubt the worse airline I have ever experienced. Very old and uncomfortable plane, in flight entertainment didn’t work on both return legs, and I was offered a sandwich as compensation!

    I hope their business class offering is a significant step up from economy.

    • James67 says:

      I flew them bkk-cmb-lhr-cmb-bkk in J last year. I was pleasantly surprized. Nice full flat seat, bright clean cabin. IFE satisfactory but no more. Great service from pleasant and efficient crew. Main meal was excellent but second meal was below average. A scedule change on my return resulted in a 9 hour layover in CMB; I was offered an overnight in high end hotel with car transfer or a direct flight on BA. Took the latter. No complaints, would fly them again.

  5. Londonbus says:

    To ASEAN countries Oneworld seems to have it covered with:
    and now SriLankan…

  6. BA arent showing Sri Lankan seats post 1 May. How can i check reward availabilty?

    • James67 says:

      Join Flysmiles and check there assuming their own availability will be the sane as they release to ow).

    • You need to wait until 1st May, BA won’t load them until then.

      You could theoretically look at SriLankan’s own site – not sure if you can check availability with a zero balance. BA should be able to access the same seats.

  7. malcolm says:

    So will I be able to transfer my flysmiles to ba , and if so at what rate ?

  8. If I already have a flight on Sri Lankan in June will I be able to add a BA executive club number after May 1st to earn Avios from the trip?

  9. How many Avios miles do you think it will cost for the redemption from London to Colombo when they come on board?

    I guess on the tax part, we will have to wait and see though.