Saturday, April 22, 2017

SriLankan to expand India network

Encouraged by the growth in India, SriLankan Airlines has decided to increase its footprint in India market. “We have seen substantial growth in traffic from India to Sri Lanka in last one year and vice versa. As a result, we are going to increase frequency. We currently operate 107 frequencies in a week and we will be increasing that to 130 by middle of this year. We are adding three destinations; Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Coimbatore by July this year. Moreover, we are also increasing frequencies to Mumbai and Delhi and considering increasing frequency to Kolkata as well,” Siva Ramachandran, Chief Commercial Officer, SriLankan Airlines, said in New Delhi on the sidelines of a function organised by the national carrier of Sri Lanka to honour trade partners in India. Elaborating further, he said that the carrier currently has seven frequencies from Mumbai and Delhi which will eventually be increased to 14. “There is going to be huge growth in the India market. Our overall load factor on India routes is close to 80 per cent. While some destinations are witnessing 90 per cent load factor, it is not less than 70 per cent on any routes,” he informed.

To support this expansion, Sri Lankan is also taking delivery of new aircraft. Talking about the fleet acquisition he said that the carrier has taken delivery of the first A320 neo early March and the next one is arriving at the end of the March. “We also have two more A321 neos slated for delivery in July and that’s when we start our expansion programme. We are expected to take delivery of two more aircraft by the end of this year. We are also looking to flying to Melbourne by end of 2017 which will also help connectivity to most of the Indian points,” he revealed. SriLankan has already expanded its operations in China and Far East market. Speaking on making India as a catchment market, he said that Colombo is a mini hub. “We do not have a big airport but our terminal is going to expand soon. All the 107 flights from India have connectivity to Maldives, Seychelles and Far East destinations,” he said.
21/04/17 Murari Mohan Jha/Travel Trends Today