Saw this on the dailynews website. 11 destinations and counting apart from Calcutta is there any other destinations in India that SriLankan can fly to?
SriLankan to fly Ahmedabad from October
by Shirajiv Sirimane
SriLankan airlines have decided to expand their flights to Ahmedabad commencing from next October. This would be the eleventh destination by the national carrier to India.
According to the Regional Manager Asia Pacific SriLankan airlines, Mohammed Fazil there was a demand for this route and this was one reason to promote this destination.
The airline operates 66 flights a week to Cochin, Trivandrum, Chennai, Trichi Bangalore, New Delhi, Bodhgaya and Bombay.
The recent destinations to India were Hyderabad and Calicut. "The operation to Ahmedabad will bring about better connectivity to western India which will also lead to growth in business travellers and tourism, both inbound and outbound," he said.
President Travel Agents Association of India, Balbir S. Mayal who was in Sri Lanka last week said that they welcome this move as this destination has tremendous tourism potential.
"A religious, cultural and historical panorama unfolds in Ahmedabad (Gujarat) where some of the most important pilgrimage sites for the Hindus and Jains are found. It is also famous for many palaces that have now been converted into heritage hotels," he said.
He said that added flight would bring in more Indian tourists who prefer to travel to Sri Lanka. A new market is emerging with more companies deciding to host their conferences and other events in Sri Lanka. He said that their Association too decided to have their annual general meeting in Sri Lanka.
"The Indian government should now take a cue from the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Nepal and adopt a visa on arrival policy for Sri Lankans. Sri Lanka has recorded the fourth highest tourist arrivals to India last year, he said.
He said that until this policy is adopted, the Indian embassy should try provide multiple visa's to Sri Lankans who apply for it.
Singapore Airlines will operate three flights a week to Singapore from July 28 and will be the first foreign airline to operate out of Ahmedabad. An estimated 200,000 passengers from Ahmedabad used national carriers Air-India and Indian Airlines, the only two airlines providing direct overseas flights out of the city in 2003.
Ahmedabad's importance as a major commercial hub in the western region offers huge potential for SIA and its strategic location could help the airline serve those travelling to neighbouring Rajashtan and Madhya Pradesh states.