Enclosed please find the official press release of SriLankan Airlines.
Calicut is SriLankan Airlines’ 10th destination in India
SriLankan Airlines will begin flights to Calicut, the fabled city in southwestern India, from the 1st of July, becoming the first non-Indian airline to operate regular services to Calicut’s International Airport.
Calicut becomes SriLankan’s 10th destination in India and will be serviced by four flights per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The 90-minute flight to Calicut, Flight UL169, leaves Colombo at 9 a.m. and arrives in Calicut at 9:50 a.m. It begins the return journey as Flight UL 170 at 10:50 a.m. and arrives in Colombo at 12:40 (all times are local, with a half-hour difference between the two countries).
“We intend increasing the number of flights to Calicut in the near future, up to a daily frequency. This is in keeping with SriLankan Airlines’ policy of having daily flights to as many of its destinations as possible,” said Head of Commercial, Mr. G. T. Jeyaseelan at SriLankan.
With the launch of flights to Calicut, SriLankan Airlines would have 66 flights to 10 cities in India, the others being New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Trichy, Trivandrum, Bodh Gaya, Kochi and Hyderabad. SriLankan intends launching flights to several more destinations in India in the near future.
The entry of SriLankan Airlines would provide residents of Calicut with excellent opportunities for international travel that they are currently lacking, with the attractions of Colombo being a short flight away. In addition SriLankan provides convenient connections to Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East.
Calicut, also known as Kozhikode, is SriLankan’s third destination in the state of Kerala, after Trivandrum and Kochi.
The Calicut flights will begin on 1st of July and will be serviced by one of SriLankan’s four Airbus A320 aircraft.
This follows the recent agreement between India and Sri Lanka to open up skies to both Indian and Sri Lankan Airlines. SriLankan is targeting Indian travelers to and from the Middle East, Europe and the United States, who would fly through Colombo. In addition, SriLankan is developing traffic for shopping visits, as more and more Indian travelers visit Colombo to take advantage of its shopping facilities, especially the prevalence of quality name brand clothing at bargain prices.
SriLankan is also aiming at the MICE market (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) trying to lure more multinationals based in India to have MICE activities in Colombo.
“SriLankan Airlines has identified India as a fast growing market with enormous potential. It is our strategy to provide services to many more destinations throughout India,” said Mohamed Fazeel, Regional Manager (Asia Pacific) at SriLankan.
SriLankan Airlines will be represented in Calicut by its General Sales Agent, Trans Lanka Travels, 1st Floor, Sajina Building, Calicut 600 027. Phone (91) 495 2721180. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
With the addition of Calicut, SriLankan Airlines would fly to 42 destinations in 23 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It has been steadily expanding its services over the past two years, acquiring several more aircraft to increase its fleet to 16; launching services to Hyderabad, Kochi, Bangalore, Bodh Gaya, Frankfurt and Karachi; increasing frequencies to London, Paris, Zurich, New Delhi, Male, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Kuwait; and recently entering into a codeshare agreement with British Midland that extended its services to 10 cities in England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
The airline recently launched SriLankan Air Taxi, a domestic air taxi service using an amphibious Cessna Caravan Floatplane to fly to six destinations on the Indian Ocean island. The service is very popular with tourists, as it provides the convenience of hassle-free travel between resorts, and the low-flying aircraft gives them a breathtaking view of the panorama of the island known to visitors through the centuries as Paradise.
The Calicut flights will strengthen the age-old ties between Sri Lanka and the Malabar coast of India, to which historians trace the origins of Sri Lanka’s last royal house, the kings of Kandy.
A bustling city with a population of 800,000 in its metropolitan area, Calicut is the commercial capital of Malabar. It has a University, Medical College and the prestigious Indian
Institute of Management, and the National Institute of Technology.
Arab traders settled in Calicut in the 7th century. Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese discoverer of the sea route to India, landed there in 1498. The Portuguese built a fortified trading post there in 1511, but it was abandoned in 1525. An English expedition visited the area in 1615, and in 1664 the British East India Company established a trading post there. The French followed in 1698 and the Danes in 1752. Hyder Ali, the 18th-century Indian ruler and military commander of Mysore, captured the town in 1765 and destroyed it. In 1790 the British returned to Calicut, and the inhabitants returned and rebuilt the city.
Media Relations Section
Corporate Communications Department
SriLankan Airlines Limited
May 07 th, 2004