Saw this in today's version of the local newspaper in Sri Lanka. Don't know if one would conisder Nok Air and Air Asia as being two leading airlines, but any extra carrier into Colombo would be fantastic!
Two leading Asian airlines mull flights to Lanka
Two leading Asian based airlines are exploring the possibility of flying to Sri Lanka this year. According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Lakshman Kadirgamar he has held discussions with Air Asia, a low cost airline to fly to Sri Lanka. The airlines officials are hoping to visit Sri Lank for a feasibility study.
The NOK airline too is a relatively new airline and officials are hoping to visit Sri Lanka soon to discuss their plans with the aviation authorities.
Sri Lanka and Thailand signed an open sky policy last June which will enable more airline operators to fly between the two countries.
A month after the launch the Thai subsidiary of the Malaysian owned Air Asia has started flying from Bangkok to Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Hat Yai. The airline operates a fleet of all Boeing 737-300 aircraft, the current work horse of the aviation industry.
Flights departing mid day, mid week tend to have lower fares. Air Asia is also planning to begin flying to China and India soon.
Budget carrier Nok Air launched its maiden commercial flight from the Thai capital last week , becoming the latest Asian airline to join the increasingly crowded flying market.
The airline, a venture of flagship carrier Thai Airways International, will operate daily on three routes from Bangkok to the northern city Chiang Mai, Hat Yai in the deep south and Udon Thani in the north-east.
Nok Air fares will be 30 percent lower than its parent company. The airline, currently operating two Boeing 737-400s, would receive six more aircraft next year and is expected to operate on international routes of less than two hours flying time, he said.
Nok means "bird" in Thai, and the airline has mined a playful theme by depicting a golden bird's beak for the nose of the purple and white aircraft.
Nok Air is the third budget airline in Thailand where One-Two Go, owned by Orient Thai, is already in fierce competition with Thai AirAsia for the low cost market. SS