As has been widely reported, SriLankan is set to join the OneWorld alliance by late 2013 under the sponsorship of Cathay Pacific. While overall I think this is a relatively minor addition to the OneWorld network, it is from what I can tell a nice carrier and more is always merrier in the alliance world. The one thing that really caught my eye though was the quote from Cathay Pacific CEO John Slosar:
Mr Slosar says that with SriLankan joining oneworld Cathay will likely introduce non-stop services to Colombo
Currently Cathay only serves Colombo via Singapore or Bangkok, and in either direction it is via regionally configured jets. For folks like myself looking for frugal ways of getting to luxury destinations like the Maldives in style, taking Cathay to Colombo has always been an option but the long trek from Hong Kong to Colombo via either SIN or BKK was not that attractive. Given a direct HKG-CMB flight would be nearly 2,500 miles, I would think there is a strong chance they could use their Airbus A3440s for such a route which would mean their full international business class product, which is amongst the best in the sky. So while there is nothing at all in stone at this point, by 2014 this could mean a new way of getting to the Maldives in style from North America using Cathay to go to HKG then on to CMB directly before final connection to MLE.