SriLankan Airlines has thanked the trade for being its “ambassadors through difficult years” as it nears the end of a successful re-fleeting programme.
The airline is in the throes of a large scale wide-body re-fleeting operation and will take delivery of its fifth Airbus 330-300 on November 10.
The latest addition to the fleet of the seven will be deployed on the national carrier’s long-haul routes to Europe, Far East and China.
Two more will be delivered by the end of the year.
SriLankan Airlines operates a daily non-stop flight to Colombo from Heathrow Terminal 3. Double-daily flights at the weekend will commence in December.
General manager corporate communications, Samina Perera, said around 80% of the airline’s trade comes via travel agents.
“Our business model has always been through travel agents. They have been our ambassadors through difficult years and gone the extra mile to support the airline and the country,” he said.
A civil war in Sri Lanka began in 1983 and continued until 2009, bringing the civil war to an end. As such the island is keen to promote itself as a peaceful destination.
“Business has been going really well and we have seen an increase in front end passengers flying with us,” continued Perera.
“A lot of investment has gone into Sri Lanka as a destination. A new airport expressway takes the journey time to downtown Colombo to 45 minutes.”
Chief executive officer of the airline, Captain Suren Ratwatte, said of the re-fleeting programme: “With the anticipated cost reductions and improved efficiencies from these fuel efficient aircraft and with their product appeal, we are confident of positioning the airline in achieving better yields and revenues.
“The response so far with the four recently acquired A330-300s has been very positive, reflecting enhanced customer satisfaction on the superior features and comfort levels of the aircraft, which inspires us to further improve our brand to make it synonymous with aspirational travel and experiences.”
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