The presence in New Delhi on July 3 of the top brass of SriLankan Airlines was significant in several ways, including to announce a new, third frequency flight between Delhi, India, and Colombo, Sri Lanka, making for operating 18 flights a week between the two capitals from July 4.
The CEO, Vipula Gunatilleka, flew into Delhi for the event, giving the clear message that India continues to be a major generating market for the island nation carrier. He spoke of efforts to seek investors for the airline, after a major Middle East carrier withdrew.
MICE, wedding, and spiritual segments were some thrust areas for the airline.
The new service on 4 days a week departs New Delhi at 2330 hours on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to arrive in Colombo at 0300 hours the following day, offering travelrs seamless onward connectivity to Melbourne, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, and Gan island.
The short connecting time and collaboration with domestic lines will help the load factors, which are already high.
Industry leaders noted that launch of the new service so soon after the tragic Easter killings was very important and showed the confidence of the Indian market. The role of STIC travels, led by Subhash Goyal, was also lauded by the island nation airline officials.
SriLankan operates a route network of 1,001 cities in 48 countries from its Colombo hub.
In due course, 2 more destinations in India will be added. At present, 11 stations are covered, with seasonal services to Varanasi and Bodhgaya.
Joshua Bustos, Chief Commercial Officer, and Dimuthu Tennakon, Head of Worldwide Sales and Distribution, were among the other officials present.
The airline created a Sri Lankan ambience at the Taj Palace, where the event was held.