SriLankan Airlines added yet another aircraft with the acquisition of a four-engine wide-body Airbus A340 on 22 May, expanding its fleet to 19.
The A340 arrived just three days after SriLankan took delivery of a brand new A320-200. The airline has added seven aircraft to its fleet in the last 10 months, four of which arrived within the last six weeks.
The National Carrier’s fleet now consists of six medium-range A320s, five twin-engine wide-body A330s, and six long-haul A340s, plus two De Havilland Twin Otter floatplanes for domestic services.
The new aircraft contains 243 seats – 38 in Business Class and 205 in Economy – including Flat Bed Seats. SriLankan will commence a major programme within the next three months to transform the passenger cabins on its existing long-haul fleet of A330s and A340s with Flat Bed Seats, state of the art Audio Video On Demand (AVOD) entertainment systems and luxurious interiors.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry set a new record of 654,000 visitor arrivals in 2010, and has already registered a 40% growth in the first four months of 2011 as global travellers rediscover the attractions of the Indian Ocean island known as paradise. SriLankan Airlines has traditionally held a 50% market share among visitors to Sri Lanka.
The airline has been expanding its global route network which now serves 51 destinations in 32 countries, having launched services to Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kochi in the last 10 months, with a new service to Moscow scheduled next September. It has also been adding capacity to its existing routes with increased numbers of flights and larger aircraft.
SriLankan is scheduled to take delivery of two more brand new A320-200s in November and December 2011. With the expected retirement of two older A320s during this time, the fleet is expected to remain at 19 aircraft until the end of the year.