American Airlines is strengthening its partnership with fellow Oneworld Alliance member airline SriLankan Airlines.
The returning codeshares will see SriLankan’s ‘UL’ flight number prefix added to 8 American Airlines routes from 5 U.S. cities to 3 European destinations that SriLankan flies to.
Let’s explore what this means for you.
One-stop Connection to Sri Lanka
Thanks to the resumption of the codeshare, American Airlines flyers will be able to fly to Colombo (CMB) via flying first with American via either Frankfurt (FRA), London (LHR), or Paris (CDG) where they’ll connect onto a SriLankan-operated jet with nonstop service to Sri Lanka. This also means that any luggage will be checked from the U.S. all the way to Sri Lanka.
As there is no direct flight with American Airlines to Sri Lanka from the U.S., American and SriLankan’s new partnership will act as a great substitute.
Connections to Colombo will be possible in London (LHR) on flights from Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), and New York (JFK) 5 times per week until February 7, 2022, when the route from London to Colombo becomes daily.
Passengers departing on American flights from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Miami (MIA), and New York (JFK) will be able to connect to Colombo through Paris (CDG) 3 times per week on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
And finally, those departing Dallas-Fort Worth will be able to connect through Frankfurt (FRA) 3 times per week on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
The European city that you’ll transit through will depend largely on your city of departure in the U.S., as well as your preferred travel dates.
Despite the newly announced codeshare, frequent Oneworld flyers may instead prefer to fly with Qatar Airways via Doha (DOH). For premium travelers, most of the several-thousand-mile (depending on where in the U.S. you start) journey would likely be spent in Qatar’s award-winning Qsuite.
Hot Tip: Check out our guide on the best ways to book Qatar Airways QSuites with points and miles to see for yourself what all the fuss is about.
Flying SriLankan From Europe to Colombo
If you would indeed like to try out the SriLankan Airlines experience, the onwards connections in Europe will be operated by SriLankan’s Airbus A330-300 jets — the larger of the 2 Airbus A330 variants in its fleet.
SriLankan’s A330-300s feature 269 seats in economy in a 2-4-2 layout. In business class, the airline’s website mentions an enhanced business class product, providing direct aisle access for all 28 passengers in a 1-2-1 configuration.
There’s no doubt that this extra connectivity between the U.S. and Sri Lanka will be welcomed by both passengers and the airlines alike.
We’d expect economy fares to be competitive and likely undercut the Middle East Big 3. However, for those who’d prefer such a long way in business class, American and SriLankan might struggle to compete against Oneworld partner Qatar, Emirates, or Etihad, whose business class products are often viewed as some of the best in the world.
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