Mar 12, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan Airlines plans to add more destinations and increase frequencies on existing routes as it expands and the island’s tourist trade revives with the end of a war, senior officials said. “Now we’ve managed to reduce losses. There’s a gradual rise towards profitability.” The island’s national carrier also intends to lease more aircraft, raising its fleet to 20 aircraft from 12 Airbus aircraft of various types today, said G S Vitanage, additional secretary of Sri Lanka’s aviation ministry.
The state-owned airline plans to start flights to Shanghai, in China where it already flies to Beijing, and also operate to Jakarta while increasing the frequency of flights to Tokyo, he said.
Shri Senanayake, the airline’s international relations manager, said it aims to carry 55 percent of tourists into the island with the end of the ethnic war resulting in a revival in tourist arrivals.
“With the war now over a whole lot of new opportunities are now before us,” he told a news conference.
The country returned to normal only after May 2009 when government forces defeated the Tamil Tigers, ending a 30-year war.
“Not even one year has passed since normalcy returned and the global