enclosed please find another great SriLankan Airlines press release ...
SriLankan Airlines to fly 77 times per week to 10 Indian cities
SriLankan Airlines, already the biggest operator into India, announced that it is adding a further 11 flights from October 31 st 2004, increasing flights to 77 into this emerging market which was the world’s second fastest expanding economy last year.
Nine of its ten Indian destinations will then have daily or more frequent flights, including Madras which has 15 flights per week, and Trivandrum which has 11.
“Our target is to provide a web of services around India, which will allow rapid connections to both Indians and foreign visitors to many parts of the country,” said G.T. Jeyaseelan, Head of Commercial at SriLankan Airlines. “We embarked on a strategy last year to provide daily frequencies to as many of our existing destinations as possible, and we have achieved that in respect of India. We at SriLankan Airlines realized very early that India would become a destination of choice for an increasing number of business travellers and tourists as it opens up to the outside world. India is also the largest tourism market into Sri Lanka with traffic increasing 29.5 per cent to 90,603 in 2003.
The airline mainly uses Airbus A320 aircraft for its Indian sectors, and recently acquired its fifth A320, with plans to obtain another twin engine aircraft soon. Calicut became the airline’s 10 th destination in India in July, and SriLankan has already announced plans to fly to Ahmadabad and several other cities in the near future.
The largest increase in the number of flights is to Trivandrum, from seven up to 11, including twice daily on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. This is followed by Hyderabad and Calicut, which each increase from four up to seven, and Kochi from six up to seven. New Delhi, Bombay, Trichy, and Bangalore already have daily flights.
Flights to the popular Buddhist pilgrimage destination Bodh Gaya, which presently operate via New Delhi, will become direct Colombo-Bodh Gaya-Colombo, in order to offer more convenient connections to pilgrims from the Far East and Southeast Asia. These flights will be on Wednesday and Sunday.
SriLankan is also increasing flights to destinations in other regions, and making changes that will offer travellers greater convenience and connectivity.
The number of flights to both Bahrain and Abu Dhabi will increase from two up to three from 1 st October. Bahrain will be serviced on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, and Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Travelling to the Maldivian capital, Male, from London and Zurich will become even more convenient on SriLankan from 31 st October, as the airline will operate a Colombo-Male-Zurich-Male-Colombo flight on Monday, and a Colombo-Male-London-Male-Colombo flight on Monday and Friday.. SriLankan has a total of five flights per week to Zurich, direct Colombo-Zurich-Colombo on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and Colombo-Zurich-Male-Colombo on Saturday.
SriLankan already has 12 flights per week to London, twice daily on every day of the week except for Wednesday and Friday when it is daily. One flight each on Monday and Saturday operate Colombo-London-Male-Colombo, while the eight other flights operate direct Colombo-London-Colombo.
SriLankan is scheduled to launch services to China in November, operating thrice weekly from Colombo to Beijing via Bangkok.
SriLankan Airlines, which has been expanding rapidly over the last two years, now flies to 42 destinations in 23 countries across Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.. In addition, the airline also flies to 10 domestic destinations with its SriLankan Air Taxi service, using an amphibious Cessna Caravan floatplane.
SriLankan Airlines has won a string of awards in recent times, which include Skytrax’s "Best Airline in Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent" for the fourth consecutive year; Skytrax's "World's Friendliest Cabin Crew" award in 2002; the TTG (Asia) "Best Airline in South Asia" award; First Runner-Up in the Skytrax Best Cabin Staff" award for 2003; Avion's "Best Inflight Entertainment" award in 2003 for a fleet size of 20 or less; and Reise & Preise magazine's "Best Airline" in the 2003 survey of Economy class passengers. SriLankan received an operational excellence award from Airbus Industrie for being the most efficient operator of Airbus A330 in the small fleet category among all the world’s airlines operating A330s in 2002 and 2003.
Corporate Communications Department
SriLankan Airlines Limited
August 20 th, 2004
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