Sri Lanka post-war tourism prospects entice India’s SpiceJet

Oct 10, 2010 (LBO) – Indian budget carrier SpiceJet, which has launched daily flights to Sri Lanka to exploit the island’s post-war tourism prospects, intends to increase frequencies and add more destinations soon, officials said. “We like consumers to book early,” Sridharan said. “Closer to the flight fares go up. The last few seats are more expensive obviously.” The airline, India’s second largest budget carrier, is offering introductory fares as low 999 Indian rupees one way to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo from Chennai for some early bookings, with meals having to be bought on board.

“We’re a ‘no-frills’ carrier and our fares are affordable,” said Samyukth Sridharan, chief commercial officer of SpiceJet.

“Our cost structures are at a level where we can actually make profits by offering those fares.”

The response to the airline’s introductory fare to Colombo was “very encouraging” with the first flight last Friday being 80 percent full, a load factor they expect to maintain in October, he told a news conference.

“In the next six months we trying to get more flights to Colombo to connect two or three more Indian destinations,” Sridharan said.

Sunil Peiris, director of Jetwing Travels, agents for Spice