After almost two months of Emirates deciding to end its 10-year management contract with SriLankan Airlines, the Colombo-based carrier has announced its exit from Skywards, the frequent flyer programme (FFP) of Emirates and SriLankan Airlines.
Confirming the Colombo carrier’s move, Emirates’ senior vice-president for Skywards programme, Brian Labelle, told Emirates Business it will impact Emirates in a minor way.
“It will have a very minor impact because all Skywards members will continue with their membership and rewards with Skywards. Members will continue to have rewards and earn miles on Emirates and the other Skywards partner airlines – United, Continental, South African, Kingfisher, Japan and Korean Airlines – and from the other leisure and lifestyle partners,” he said.
“SriLankan Airline’s agreement with Skywards will expire with the ending of the airline’s management contract with Emirates on March 31, 2008. Nevertheless, SriLankan will continue to honour Skywards reward tickets for 12 months from their date of issue up until March 31,” he added.
SriLankan, meanwhile, said all its current Skywards members holding mileage balances will have the option of transferring their miles to the new FFP.
“Our new frequent flyer programme will have its own unique identity and logo and its membership will be open to passengers who fly SriLankan Airlines to any destination on our route network of 54 destinations,” said Mohamed Fazeel, SriLankan Airline’s Regional Manager, Commercial Department, who will be spearheading the new FFP.
“All SriLankan Airlines’ Skywards members will continue their membership and rewards will continue to be available on Emirates flights and from other leisure and lifestyle partners,” he added.
When asked what kind of revenue loss would Emirates accrue due to Srilankan Airlines exiting Skywards, Labelle said: “As we are still in a transitional stage, we will need to evaluate how the structure will affect all areas of the programme.”
He added that Emirates airline is also discussing a partnership with Sri Lanka, which allows members to continue to earn by flying SriLankan Airlines.
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