SriLankan Airlines announces plans for Middle East at ATM 2019

SriLankan Airlines announces plans for Middle East at ATM 2019
Published: 30 April 2019 - 9 a.m.
By: Aviation Business

SriLankan Airlines, the national Carrier of Sri Lanka and member of the oneworld alliance, has announced new plans aimed at reinvigorating the airline’s momentum in the global air transport market, as well as securing a greater share of the Middle East travel market.

Announced by the airline’s CEO on the sidelines of this year’s Arabian Travel Market, a key point that was stressed was the carrier’s goals to press on and deliver a top-notch flight service to the region and the rest of the world, despite the recent terror attacks back in Sri Lanka.

With more than 2.5 million tourists form the Middle East traveling to the Emerald Isle in 2018, and with more than 5% originating form the GCC, the carrier is currently exploring how best to expand its current 45 weekly to the region.

Additionally, the airline projects an increase in fleet numbers as it prepares to boost services on high-performing routes, while also planning to add new additions to its network. Recently, SriLankan Airlines revealed that it was currently in the process of introducing premium economy seating across its widebody fleet.

In terms of fleet additions, the airline will reportedly add four new Airbus aircraft variants over the next five years in an effort to increase both passenger and freight carrying capacity. By 2025, SriLankan Airlines will have a fleet strength of 34 aircraft.

Sharing some additional insights into the proposed plan, SriLankan Airlines' CEO, Vipula Gunatilleka, commented: "The Middle East is among our most significant markets and we consider being here at ATM in Dubai very important, which is why we are here in strength despite the recent attacks in Colombo.

"We are determined not to let these setbacks discourage us and we will bounce back in style. Going forward we will announce plans to enhance services to the region and improve our business class offerings as we aim for a bigger slice of the luxury travel market."

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