SriLankan Airlines adds Kunming as it rides on Chinese boom

By Rohit Kaul

SRILANKAN Airlines added Kunming to its network earlier this month, making it the fifth destination in China where the carrier operates scheduled flights.

The flag carrier is utilising Airbus A320 aircraft for this thrice-a-week service departing Colombo.

“There has been an overwhelming increase in inbound from China to Sri Lanka. We are also keen to increase frequency on the route and add two more destinations in China. However, it will be too early for us to reveal names of these new destinations,” said Nishantha Wickremasinghe, chairman, Srilankan Airlines told TTG Asia e-Daily.

According to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Sri Lanka recorded 94,994 Chinese arrivals in the first nine months of 2014 while the number stood at 39,354 in the same period last year, an exponential increase of 141.4 per cent.

Apart from Kunming, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong are the other destinations where the Oneworld member operates scheduled flights to in Greater China. SriLankan Airlines also operates a weekly charter to Chongqing.

Wickremasinghe shared that the airline is waiting for the delivery of new aircraft before embarking on major expansion plans in strategic markets like China and India. The carrier has placed orders for 12 aircraft: wide bodied A330-300 and A350-900.

“We are keen to increase frequency on Indian and Far East sectors. We would like to operate double daily flights to New Delhi and Mumbai but it depends on the delivery of new aircraft,” he added.

SriLankan Airlines is also contemplating to start flights to Sydney and Melbourne next year

[Via TTG Asia]

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