This year promises to be an interesting one for world aviation. Fuel prices are near historic lows and global demand remains strong. SriLankan Airlines, similar to international carriers world over, has had to respond to this highly competitive market environment by re-evaluating its current operations and re-deploying capacity to more sustainable routes and destinations.
Accordingly, London will remain SriLankan’s main gateway to Europe. Currently, SriLankan is the only airline to operate non-stop flights between London and Colombo. The Airline will continue to provide its passengers the best of flying experiences on-board the fleet of its state-of-the-art A330-300 aircraft, deployed on this route. While Paris operations will continue with four weekly frequencies, a fifth Frankfurt frequency will be added from July 2016, which will continue during summer 2016.
In order to increase capacity on more commercially viable routes, SriLankan will discontinue operations to Rome from May 1, 2016. Nevertheless, with its strong network of codeshare partners, SriLankan will continue to provide onward connectivity to many European and North American destinations.
Making a significant capacity increase to the Middle East, SriLankan will start operating daily flights to Riyadh and six flights a week to Jeddah. The national carrier currently serves seven key hubs in the Middle East, i.e., Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait with a total of 42 flights a week.
India has remained the number one tourism generating market for Sri Lanka in the years 2013, 2014 and 2015 while China has climbed up from its third slot to number two position in 2015.
The Far East will remain an important market for SriLankan where the Airline will continue to explore its potential for expansion. The National Carrier recently introduced thrice weekly non-stop flights from Guangzhou to Colombo, becoming the first airline to operate direct flights between the two destinations. SriLankan currently operates to Beijing, Shanghai, Canton and Kunming with a total of 18 weekly flights and three flights a week to Hong Kong. The Airline also flies nineteen times a week to Singapore, and twice daily to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
With its strong presence in the Indian Sub-continent and Maldives SriLankan Airlines currently operates a total of 88 flights a week to seven Indian destinations and 26 flights to Male.
As a oneworld member representing the South Asia region, SriLankan is also a part of the special fare programme, “South Asian Sub-Continent pass,” which covers SriLankan’s entire network of India and Male. This allows travellers to explore the diversity and vibrancy of the Indian Sub-continent.
Further facilitating travel movements in the region, SriLankan with its mutual codeshare operations with the Sister Carrier, Mihin Lanka provides connections to Bodh Gaya, Varanasi, Kolkata, Madurai, Lahore, Dhaka, Jakarta, Bahrain, Muscat and Seychelles.
While aiming at a sustainable operational network to achieve profitability, SriLankan will continue to make timely service and product enhancements to provide its passengers a seamless travel experience, enriched with inherent Sri Lankan warmth and hospitality.