SriLankan to receive first of five A320s in December

Monday, 18 October 2010 22:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

SriLankan Airlines will receive the first of the five A320s ordered on lease as part of re-fleeting programme in December whilst the three brand new planes will be added beginning May next year.

The national carrier said yesterday it is acquiring seven more aircraft by end of next year.

Within the order are three brand new A320s first of which will be taken delivery of in May next year. The airline also said the latter marks the first in over a decade as the previous occasion was in June 2000 when the last of the six A330-200s came in.

Apart from five A320s, the carrier has also ordered two twin otter floatplanes.

 “We will be celebrating an important new chapter in the history of SriLankan Airlines with the arrival of this large number of aircraft within a short period. They will allow SriLankan to significantly enhance the passenger experience on board our flights, give us the ability to fly to more cities in the Subcontinent, Middle East and Southeast Asia, and to also increase capacity to existing destinations in these regions,” SriLankan CEO Manoj Gunawardena said.

The three brand new aircraft are scheduled to be acquired from May-November 2011, and will sport the latest comforts and entertainment systems including Audio-Video On Demand (AVOD) in both Business and Economy Classes.

These three aircraft would be preceded by two other A320s which are likely to arrive in December 2010 and early 2011. All five aircraft would be on operating leases at very attractive terms of monthly payments. In addition, two Twin Otters are to be acquired for the re-launch of its domestic service SriLankan Air Taxi this winter.

The airline is also exploring the possibility of obtaining at least one more long-haul wide-body aircraft to launch services to more new destinations in Europe and the Far East.

 “Our fleet expansion plans are constantly updated to support Sri Lanka’s rapidly growing tourism industry, while keeping in mind the financial requirements of the airline,” Gunawardena added.

Sri Lanka’s National Carrier began a re-fleeting programme shortly after its management changed hands in April 2008, acquiring three A320s in 2008 and 2009 to replace old aircraft. A wide-body A330-200 was also added to the fleet two months ago.

These seven aircraft will join SriLankan’s fleet of 13 – three A320s, five A330s, and five A340s – with a global network covering 49 cities in 31 countries. The twin-engined A320s operate to destinations in the Subcontinent, Maldives, Southeast Asia, and parts of the Middle East, while the A330s and A340s operate to the Middle East, Europe, and the Far East.