June 8, 2011 (LBO) – State-run national carrier SriLankan Airlines is re-starting services to Zurich in Switzerland which were stopped in 2005, expanding its network to 53 destinations in 34 countries, the airline said. The services will start from December 23, 2011 and run twice weekly on Monday and Friday.
“This will significantly strengthen our services to travelers in central Europe, which is viewed as a market with great potential for tourism to Sri Lanka,” SriLankan Airlines chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said.
The airline will use wide-bodied Airbus A330 and A340 with Flat Bed seating, and audio video on demand (AVOD) entertainment systems.
The new service would serve travelers in Switzerland, southern Germany, eastern France and Austria, all of which also have sizeable populations of Sri Lankan emigrants.
SriLankan had first started flying to Switzerland in 1980.
Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals have risen 40 percent in 2010 following the end of a 30-year war.
The airline says it carries 50 percent of the air travelers to the island and has a fleet of 19 aircraft up from 12 a year earlier and also runs a domestic seaplane service.
The Zurich-Colombo flight is likely to operat