Commercial hub Mumbai to get three more and one each for Chennai and Bangalore
SriLankan Airlines is offering more convenience to travellers between Colombo and India’s major cities, by adding several flights to Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.
Sri Lanka’s National Carrier, traditionally one of the largest overseas operators into India, will add three more flights per week to Mumbai, and one more to both Chennai and Bangalore, starting 1 December.
SriLankan’s Head of Worldwide Sales Mohamed Fazeel said: “We are expanding our operations to India, and our aim is to provide several flights per day to all major cities there to allow travellers the luxury of choosing which time of day they would prefer to fly. We intend to add additional flights on each route wherever possible next year.”
SriLankan also recently announced that it will be acquiring seven more aircraft by the end of 2011, including five Airbus A320s that would serve Indian destinations.
December’s additional flights would bring the Mumbai service up to 10 flights per week from the earlier daily frequency. The additional flights would be on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Meanwhile, SriLankan’s service to Chennai would rise to 15 flights per week, with three on Friday, and two on all other days.
The additional flight to Bangalore would bring it up to a daily frequency. SriLankan also has seven flights per week to New Delhi; seven to Trivandrum; and 10 to Trichy.
India is also one of the most popular destinations among Sri Lankan travellers, for everything from leisure to business and studies. Large numbers of businessmen from both countries travel to and fro daily, with India being one of Sri Lanka’s largest trading partners.
SriLankan’s flights offer the most convenient timings. Morning flights to Chennai depart Colombo at 7:30 a.m. and arrive at 8:50 a.m. Departure from Chennai is at 10:30 a.m., arriving in Colombo at 11:50 a.m. evening flights leave Colombo at 6:35 p.m., arriving in Chennai at 7:55 p.m. The return flight departs Chennai at 8:55 p.m. and touches down in Colombo at 10:15 p.m. Friday’s third flight leaves Colombo at 12:50 p.m., and arrives in Chennai at 2:10 p.m. It leaves Chennai at 3.10 p.m. and arrives back in Colombo at 4:20 p.m.
Flights to Mumbai depart Colombo daily at midnight and reach their destination at 2:20 a.m. The return flight leaves Mumbai at 3:20 a.m. and arrives in Colombo at 5:40 a.m. The additional three flights on Monday, Thursday and Saturday are in the evenings, departing Colombo at 4 p.m. and touching down in Mumbai at 6:20 p.m. They leave Mumbai at 7:10 p.m. and arrive back in Colombo at 9:40 p.m.
Indian visitors make up the largest tourist segment to Sri Lanka, where the tourism industry has been booming since a 30-year war ended and global travellers begin to rediscover the delights of the island long known as ‘Paradise’. In the first nine months of 2010, a total of 82,342 Indian travellers have visited Sri Lanka, a 49% increase from the same period in 2009.
Sri Lanka is a favourite destination for India’s leisure travel market, with its value for money hotel rates, bargain shopping, and wide variety of climates and environments ranging from mist-swathed mountains to lush jungles teeming with wildlife.
The airline’s domestic service SriLankan Air Taxi is being re-launched in November 2010, which would provide visitors the luxury of reaching any part of the island within an hour.
In addition, large numbers of Indian travellers transit Colombo to destinations as far as North America, Europe and the Far East, as well as nearer regions such as the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
While on board, travellers will experience the extraordinary service and comforts that have made SriLankan Airlines legendary over the years, from the caring, warmth and friendliness of its cabin staff to its mouth-watering cuisine and superb range of beverages.