SriLankan Airlines Global network Expands to Highest Number of Destinations
by Shrutee K/DNS
Colombo : SriLankan Airlines recorded an exciting milestone last Sunday as it launched a new four-times-a-week service to Coimbatore. This took SriLankan’s online destination count to 41, the highest ever in Sri Lanka’s aviation history.
With the recently launched routes to Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, as well as the seasonal flights to Gaya and Varanasi which will resume in August, SriLankan will soon be operating 126 scheduled flights a week to 14 destinations in India – serving more Indian points than any other international airline. This regains SriLankan the title of the foreign airline with the largest reach into India – a solid and distinct advantage that will help SriLankan’s commercial efforts and its quest to become a regional carrier of note.
In addition to opening these new routes, SriLankan has also implemented several other network changes from 15th July in line with its strategy of adapting its route network to align with the current market realities. These include;
New daily non-stop flights to Guangzhou, China (eliminating the previous Bangkok stopover)
New five times a week non-stop flights to Hong Kong, China (eliminating the previous Bangkok stopover that had operated for decades)
Flights to Bangkok, Thailand increased from daily to three times a day, to cater to the demand and to enhance network connectivity
Flights to Delhi, India increased from daily to 11 times a week
SriLankan’s destination count is set to increase further from the upcoming winter season, as it launches new daily non-stop flights to Melbourne, Australia. This represents SriLankan’s re-entry to Australia after a hiatus of sixteen years. The airline has already seen very strong forward bookings on this route – which gives confidence that it is the right choice. Further expansion of services on strategically important routes are also planned for the winter season.
Two new A320neo aircraft and the first A321neo aircraft have joined SriLankan’s fleet during the year, with two more A321neo aircraft due to join before the end of the year. It is worth noting that SriLankan was the first airline in Asia, and only the fourth airline worldwide, to take delivery of the A321neo aircraft. The A320neo family aircraft incorporate the latest technologies including new generation CFM-LEAP engines and “sharklet”, wingtips both of which enhance fuel efficiency while delivering superior levels of comfort to passengers. They are 15% more fuel efficient than the previous generation A320 family aircraft and deliver almost a 50% reduction in noise footprint.
SriLankan completed the recently ended Financial Year 2016/17 with an improved financial performance and a reduction of its Unit Cost. Since the beginning of the new FY 2017/18, SriLankan has recorded a reversal of the declining yields that it had witnessed in the prior year, all signs pointing that SriLankan is heading in the right direction.