Qatar Airways is to expand codeshare co-operation with SriLankan Airlines.

The new agreement will be introduced in stages from December 23.

Once in place, SriLankan Airlines’ passengers will be able to book travel to 33 additional Qatar Airways destinations in Europe, the US and Africa.

Qatar Airways’ passengers will gain access to new destinations in the Maldives thanks to the expanded agreement.

They will be able to book travel on SriLankan Airlines’ flights to the island of Gan in Addu Atoll, the southernmost point of the Maldives.

The new destination complements existing SriLankan Airlines’ routes available to Qatar Airways passengers – Colombo in Sri Lanka and Male in the Maldives.

In return, SriLankan Airline passengers will initially be able to book travel to eight additional Qatar Airways’ destinations including Dublin, Athens, Munich and Prague via Doha.

Qatar Airways serves Colombo from its Doha hub four times a day and struck the codeshare with SriLankan Airlines three years ago.

Combined with the two airlines’ existing codeshare pact, this will  bring the total Qatar Airways destinations offered under SriLankan Airlines’ flight numbers to 53.

Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “Since 2016 both airlines have witnessed the significant benefits codeshare co-operation has brought, providing passengers with unrivalled service and seamless connections.

“The expansion of codeshare co-operation between Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines is a natural next step in the strengthening of our close partnership.”

SriLankan Airlines chief executive Vipula Gunatilleka added: “We are delighted to further strengthen the bonds of our long-time partnership with our fellow oneworld member Qatar Airways, and feel certain that the valued passengers of both our airlines will reap the benefits of this close co-operation.”