March 26, 2007 (LBO) – Indian budget carrier Air India Express (AIE), which started operations to Sri Lanka Sunday, will continue its Colombo-Chennai run, and look to add frequencies from Delhi and Mumbai later this year, officials said. A number of international airlines suspended services to Sri Lanka in the wake of a 2001 attack by Tamil Tigers on the airport due to declining tourist numbers and prohibitive insurance charges.
“Our morning flight arrived with a full load and left with a full load,” Kishani Ganegoda, Director of Millenium Transport, a Hayleys group company that is the general sales agent to the airline told LBO.
“The airline is very positive and would continue to fly. There was only a slight delay toady because lots of aircraft were diverted to Chennai.”
Arriving flights to Colombo were diverted to Chennai with the Bandaranaike International Airport being close till 3.30 am following a Tamil Tiger air raid at 12.45 am.
Air India Express is looking to break the price barrier in the lucrative Colombo Chennai run offering tickets at 12,000 rupees compared to 17,000 rupees to 20,000 rupees for a full service airline.
“We think our price will be attractive to frequent travelers, students and busine