SriLankan Airlines looks for two narrow body aircraft

Chandi Dharmaratne

June 25 – Sri Lankan Airlines is looking for two Airbus A320 aircraft to join is fleet by late 2010 as it plans to expand the winter schedule amid a pick up in tourism traffic, chief executive Manoj Gunawardena said. Sri Lankan said it will also increase flights to India by one to 50 frequencies a week in July. In August it may add another two frequencies to India. “We are looking for two narrow body Airbus A320 aircraft to relieve A330 aircraft from short haul routes and re-deploy them on long-haul destinations,” Gunawardena said.

SriLankan Airlines is expecting delivery of an A330 in July, which will expand the fleet to 13 aircraft. The airline will then have five A340 aircraft, five A330s and three A320s.

The airline is expecting higher traffic volumes from Europe in the peak winter season and wants to increase capacity to the continent.

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka were up 32.3 percent in May 2010 to 35,213 from a year ago. In the five months to May arrivals were 48.5 percent to 233,922.

A 30-year conflict ended in May 2009, and travel warnings were lifted by many countries.