May 09, 2016 (LBO) – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines says it will resume flights to Sri Lanka from October after almost 20 years of staying away due to the conflict in the island.
“The first flight to Colombo is scheduled to depart on Monday, 31 October 2016. This marks KLM’s return to Colombo after an absence of almost 20 years. KLM suspended service to the Sri Lankan capital, then served via Abu Dhabi, in 1997,” a statement said.
Sri Lanka was known as Dutch Ceylon from 1640-1796 and was then a governorate of the Netherlands.
“The remnants of this period are still clearly visible on the island, especially in Galle, Unawatuna, Kalutara and Negombo, where there are (ruins of) forts and colonial buildings,” the statement said.
“In Colombo, there is Dutch fort, a governor’s house and a cemetery. And just off the coast is the island of Delft, which was named after the Dutch town renowned for its porcelain.”
Sri Lanka has been a safe and stable country since the civil war came to an end in 2009, and is a popular tropical leisure destination for Europeans.
Throughout the winter season, KLM will operate twice-weekly service to Colombo, departing from Schiphol on Mondays and Fridays, and returning from Colombo on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
The flights will be operated with the latest addition to KLM’s intercontinental fleet: the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has 30 seats in World Business Class, 48 seats in Economy Comfort and 216 seats in Economy Class.