Mihin Lanka beyond the equator

Monday, 7 July 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Mihin Lanka, Sri Lanka’s national low-cost carrier is now the only airline operating direct flights from Sri Lanka to all key destinations in the Indian subcontinent. Mihin Lanka’s ability to now operate flights beyond the equator to destinations in the southern hemisphere is due to the recent Extended Twin Engine Operations (ETOPS) certification the airline’s Airbus fleet received which now enables flights up to two hours away from an airport. Airlines obtain this extension from their respective authorities by proving their credibility through the safe operations of flights without any major technical failures or malfunctions. Mihin Lanka Head of Engineering Deepthi Kulathunga explained that SriLankanAirlines’ engineering team is contracted by Mihin Lanka and is responsible for the maintenance of Mihin Aircraft. He further stated, “As the head of the department, I am happy to say that it is a significant milestone for Mihin Lanka, a comparatively new airline, to obtain 120 minutes of ETOPS certification from the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CASSL) in such a short period of time. Regulatory authorities go through various checks and scrutinise an airlineaccording to international rules and regulations before certifying it for ETOPSoperations. Mihin Lanka’s impeccable safety record was the key factor the authorities took into consideration.” Mihin Lanka Chief Pilot – Training and Standards Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama explained that special crew training was required to obtain special certifications for pilots to fly 120 ETOPS routes. Mihin Lanka pilots had to undergo specialised training to operate flights to the Seychelles airport, which is considered a category ‘C’ airport on the difficulty ratings. This training included RNAV approaches which allowed the pilots to use on-board satellite navigationssystems and conduct approaches without the help ofground based radio aids such as VOR (nondirectionalbeacons or instrument landing systems).” He further added that the weather patterns in the southern hemisphere aredifferent to the northern hemisphere and conditions associated with equatorial weather also have to be taken intoconsideration during extensive pilot training sessions in the simulator. Mihin Lanka Chairman/CEO Nishantha Ranatunga stated, “Direct flights to far away destinations like Jakarta and Seychelles are nowpossible due to Mihin Lanka’s ETOPS certifications and special crew training which enables the fleet to fly long routes over water.Both these destinations are commercially viable and the MihinLanka commercial team is working on accessing more destinations in the southern hemisphere to add to the airline’sgrowing network. Mihin Lanka already offers flightsthat no other airline offers from Sri Lanka to destinations in the Indian subcontinent such as Medan, and Jakarta in Indonesia, Madurai, Varanasi and Gaya in India and Dhaka in Bangladesh.” Mihin Lanka is a leading low-cost airline in South Asia that operates across many destinations in the Indian subcontinent, the Middle-East and South East Asia. Since its launch in 2007, Mihin Lanka has come a long way, becoming one of the region’s most admired affordable travel brands. The airline strives to maintain the highest standards and is the only low fare airline which provides a complimentary on-board meal and a free checked-in baggage allowance.  Focused on delivering the best to its customers, Mihin Lanka continuously adapts to passenger needs, in order to further fulfill its mission of being the leading low-cost airline in the region.