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SriLankan Airlines to operate domestic flights to Jaffna International Airport

SriLankan Airlines to operate domestic flights to Jaffna International Airport

Sri Lanka’s national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, is looking at operating domestic flights to the newly opened Jaffna International Airport Shorty.
SriLankan Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer, SriLankan, Vipula Gunatilleka has told Sri Lanka’s state owned Daily News after the Sri Lanka Tourism WTM Press Conference that SriLankan plans to lease smaller aircraft for this operation.
“The airline will include Jaffna as a stopover destination when operating flights to some of the Indian destinations thus establishing good connectivity between Colombo (BIA) and Jaffna as well,” he has said.
Gunatilleka has observed that the opening of the Jaffna International Airport was a step taken in the right direction. “This will help boost economy and tourism in the area and as the national carrier we want to help this effort by operating flights.”
“Our current fleet does not have the required equipment (aircraft) to operate to Jaffna and we will look at the option of acquiring a suitable aircraft to launch this operation next year,” he has noted.
Our plan is to reach the breakeven point by 2023, Gunatilleka has said, explaining, “This would have been possible by 2022 but was forced to push it back by one year due to the Easter Sunday attacks as its impact was big to the airline.”
The local media report has stated that one of the biggest overheads for the airline, the leases of aircraft, are now on the decline while we have also taken several prudent economic decisions to bring down costs. “Due to relocating some of the SriLankan offices from WTC and other places to Katunayake we were able to save around US$ 51 million in the first six months of this year.”
He has further noted that that there also some economic benefits of aviation fuel charges.
Meanwhile, Gunatilleka has also explained that the Australian route to Melbourne was also profitable and the airline will soon add Sydney to its network.
Also, the Indian destinations are expected to bring in good revenue and the national carrier would be adding Ahmadabad to their network soon.
The airline is also planning to re-introduce Colombo-Frankfurt flights.

OSL take:

The establishment of four international airports in the country has resulted in the creation of many business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s aviation sector. Apart from the operation of regional flights, it has also expanded the domestic aviation market. Sri Lanka’s national carrier is to commence domestic flights to the newly set up airports in the country. Foreign airline companies could therefore explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s domestic aviation sector. This in turn would boost the country’s tourism industry as well, creating more business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism sector.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20191111/Z_7

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