National carrier Sri Lankan Airlines pledged its support to bolster the tourism industry while announcing that its focus has changed primarily to regions in the Far East and India.
Noting that the airline was essentially set up to help the country’s tourism industry, Sri Lankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias said they would continue to focus on tourism promotion and were working closely with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB).
“That’s where our focus has been and will be in the future as well,” he said at a press briefing held at the PATA Annual Summit 2017 held in Negombo last Friday.
It was pointed out that SriLankan Airlines’ passenger numbers have changed significantly in the recent past especially with Chinese and Indian traveller numbers increasing considerably.
Dias also said that SriLankan Airlines is now the largest foreign carrier to India, which makes total stations to 12.
“With the latest destination additions of Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Kochi it makes Sri Lankan Airlines the largest foreign carrier to India,” he added.
- Says Chinese and Indian passenger numbers have improved significantly
- SriLankan Airlines further expands in India increasing number of destinations to 12
- Plans to commence direct flights to Hong Kong and Vietnam
- Chairman says decision-making is difficult being a State entity
Furthermore, he said that as the airline receives new smaller aircrafts, they hoped to commence direct flights to Hong Kong, while Vietnam was also on the cards.
With SriLankan Airlines being a State-owned airline, Dias said it was a little difficult to make their own decisions and plans.
“As the Board of Directors we need to get the approval of the State. It is a little difficult for us to make our own plans. We work closely with the Government,” he noted.
In terms of the well being of its passengers, he said that Sri Lankan Airlines had earned a reputation for its friendly hospitality in this part of the world.
Source : FT