ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday September 2, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 14
TV Times  

Etihad to codeshare with SriLankan Airlines

By Susitha R. Fernando

From September 15, the national carrier, SriLankan Airlines and Ethihad Airways will jointly market services between Colombo and Abu Dhabi. This is as a result of SriLankan Airlines and Etihad Airways codeshare agreement between the two airlines. The agreement will take effect from September 15, when Etihad Airways suspends flights on its Colombo route.

Etihad passengers will fly SriLankan Airlines to or from Abu Dhabi, with both airlines jointly marketing the destination."This strategic agreement with Sri Lankan Airlines extends the number of destinations we offer and the airline's high standards of service will be enjoyed by our customers," said Charles Phelps- Penry, Regional General Manager Asia Pacific, Etihad Airways.

SriLankan Airlines daily flights to Abu Dhabi will accommodate traffic from Etihad's three flights a week service to and from Colombo."SriLankan Airlines flight frequencies to Abu Dhabi will remain the same initially but will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that we meet demand in the market," said Manoj Gunawardena, head of Worldwide Passenger Sales for the Sri Lankan carrier.

"The agreement with Etihad Airways, the National Airline of the United Arab Emirates will strengthen our services into and out of the Middle East, an important market for Sri Lankan Airlines, while achieving operational efficiencies for both partners," Gunawardena added. Having codeshares with five other international airlines including Emirates, Saudi Air and Indian Airline, Etihad is the sixth codeshare partner that joined SriLankan Airlines.

Describing the process of codesharing, Mr. Gunawardena stated that it is a corporate service under which marketing and selling of tickets is done by two airlines."This is our first code share with Etihad and we are happy to support Etihad on their Colombo routes."

"This ensures a safer journey in one single carrier code until the final destination. In addition SriLankan Airlines will be operated in Canada and a number of destinations in Europe," he said. SriLankan Airlines, offers services to 51 destinations in 28 countries across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

However when questioned, Charles Phelps- Penry, Regional General Manager Asia Pacific, Etihad Airways, admitted that they suspended operations due to lack of profit. "Yet Etihad Airways has no intention to pull out of Sri Lanka as we have confidence in the country," he added.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.