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Sri Lanka state airline to double flights to China from July

June 15, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's state-run SriLankan Airlines, is doubling flights to main Chinese cities by July and is eyeing more secondary destinations to capitalize on growing links with the Asian powerhouse, an official said. Sri Lanka's national flag carrier currently flies over 10 times a week to China, from about three flights a week when it first began flying to Beijing.

"By mid-July this year, we hope to fly seven times a week to Beijing, seven times to Shanghai, four times to Guangzhou and thrice to Hong Kong, taking it to 21 flights per week," SriLankan’s chief marketing officer, G T Jeyaseelan told reporters on Friday.

"We see China as a huge potential area for development

"For Sri Lanka, China is important politically and economic-wise. We are also studying the secondary market in China. We eventually want to go non-stop to China," he said.

SriLankan now flies to Chinese destinations via Bangkok, carrying traffic both to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. China is becoming a major outbound market with a strong currency that is appreciating against the US dollar rapidly boosting the wealth of its people.

China is a large financier of state projects and was a key small arms supplier during Sri Lanka

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