Airline targets 25% growth from GCC countries this year
26 April 2017 - Dubai, UAE: With comprehensive and structured expansion plans in place, SriLankan Airlines, the National Carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of the oneworld airline alliance, is set for a takeoff to fresh growth across some of its most valued global markets.
SriLankan Airlines' has reinforced its existing services to the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and China, while targeting fresh destinations in Australasia, according to plans revealed at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.
With increasing demand being experienced from the countries of the GCC, SriLankan Airlines will boost capacity on the Dubai-Colombo route by making it an all-widebody service served by the airline's Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The airline will also look to add further frequencies on the route by this winter.
SriLankan Airlines Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Siva Ramachandran said: “SriLankan Airlines has been strategically expanding its reach in the region, thereby offering our passengers an enhanced travel experience and an extensive range of destinations. We welcomed over 100,000 visitors from the GCC countries in 2016 and this year we are looking forward to achieving a 25% increase in this number.
'As the National Carrier of Sri Lanka, whilst sourcing tourists from new markets, we also offer our passengers seamless connectivity across our global route network. The Airline will continue to explore potential expansion opportunities in the Gulf region in order to facilitate more travellers,' Ramachandran said.
In addition to the expansion in services to the Middle East, SriLankan Airlines is also adding three new destinations in India, which is one of the airline's key focus destinations for transit and tourist traffic. With the addition of flights to Hyderabad, Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam, the airline will now fly over 120 flights per week to 12 Indian cities, making it the largest foreign airline to fly to India. The airline will also look to add frequencies to its daily flights to Mumbai and New Delhi, come July.
SriLankan Airlines also intends to widen its international reach by launching a foray into Australasia, with flights planned to Melbourne this winter. Initially, four flights a week are planned between Colombo and Melbourne, as the airline anticipates to serve leisure and VFR travellers between the two countries, as well as carrying connecting passengers from the Middle East and the subcontinent.
With tourist demand on the increase from the Far East, SriLankan Airlines also plans to beef up its services to the Asia-Pacific region. The airline, which currently flies to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kunming in China, with a total of 15 weekly flights, will now fly daily to Guangzhou from July. The airline will also further enhance its connectivity to Hong Kong. In addition to the three weekly services operated currently via Bangkok, the airline will introduce non-stop services to Hong Kong with two more additional frequencies. The airline will also introduce three additional terminators between Colombo and Bangkok in its triple daily services to the Thai capital.
SriLankan Airlines today flies an all-Airbus fleet, which includes the sophisticated A330-300 and A320neo aircraft connecting to 100 destinations in 47 countries (including codeshare operations). Launched in 1979, Sri Lanka's National Carrier is an award winning airline with a solid reputation for service, comfort, safety, reliability, and punctuality.