Sri Lankan Airlines chases Indians

Mar 19, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan Airlines, already the biggest foreign carrier to India with over 100 flights a week, says it is intensifying efforts to attract Indians to fly its network and bring them to its hub in Colombo. More than 100,000 Indians visited Sri Lanka in 2007, with authorities expecting volume to double in the next two years.

In February the airline had offered discounted fares for Indian travellers below the age 27 provided they stayed in the island for three days.

“India is the largest country of origin of tourists to Sri Lanka, having replaced our earlier traditional markets in Europe every year since 2005,” Senaka Fernando, regional manager for India and Maldives said in a statement.

The airline says flight time to Sri Lanka is less than an hour from six out of 11 Indian destinations it flies to.

It carries North Indian, South Indian and vegetarian dishes and the latest Hindi and Tamil films on its entertainment system.