SriLankan Airlines continues to expand its global route network, with increases in capacity starting in March to Karachi, Bahrain, Doha and Muscat, and the launch of a daily service to Kochi.
Just last November, SriLankan increased capacity across its network in support of Sri Lanka’s rapidly expanding tourism industry which is enjoying good times following the permanent end to a 30-year war. Tourist arrivals grew by 46% in 2010.
SriLankan’s Head of Worldwide Sales Mohamed Fazeel said: “Global travellers have once again discovered Sri Lanka, and SriLankan Airlines is expanding services around the world as rapidly as possible to spur on this boom. We are also acquiring more aircraft while upgrading our product and services to give passengers the most delightful experience on board.”
The Airline last year began reinventing its service vowing “to change the way we fly and the way our passengers experience travel.”
Much of the increase in capacity is in the Middle East, with the present flights to Bahrain, Doha and Muscat being delinked and operating as direct nonstop flights from Colombo to each city.
SriLankan will also add a fifth frequency to Pakistan’s largest city Karachi.
The Airline’s seventh destination in India, Kochi will see services recommence from 27 March. This will increase SriLankan’s flights to India up to 63 per week. The other destinations are Chennai, Mumbai, Trichy, New Delhi, Bangalore, and Trivandrum.
SriLankan served Kochi from 2003, but temporarily suspended the service in 2009 during the global economic crisis causing a worldwide slump in air travel.
SriLankan also launched a new service to Guangzhou in January, its fourth destination in China.
The Airline is in the midst of a period of sustained long-term growth and has a global route network serving 51 cities in 32 nations. It is expected to acquire seven more aircrafts in 2011 in addition to the three it took delivery of in the second half of 2010.
It will also upgrade its passenger cabins with Flat Bed Seating and the latest Audio-Video-On-Demand (AVOD) entertainment systems this year. Its domestic service, SriLankan Air Taxi, commenced services last December, making any part of the island accessible within minutes.