Posts Tagged ‘Srilankan Airlines’

SriLankan Airlines wins ‘Best Value Leisure Product’ at OTM Mumbai


Sri Lanka’s national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, was recently awarded, ‘Best Value Leisure Product’ at the OTM, Mumbai. The 2015 chapter of OTM Mumbai – the biggest ever travel trade show in India was held the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre with participation of over 850 exhibitors from 50 countries.

The “Most Promising Value Leisure Awards” are bestowed on organizations offering the best products, ambience, quality of service at affordable price, fulfilling dreams of many leisure travellers.

Commenting on the win, SriLankan Airlines General Manager- Worldwide Sales Saminda Perera said “We are truly honoured to have won such a prestigious award, especially having participated in one of India’s biggest travel and trade fairs, and to have won an award for Best Value Leisure Product. India has always been a lucky country for us, it is here that we plan to establish ourselves strongly and give the Indian audience an opportunity to fly one of the world’s most exotic airlines.”

SriLankan Airlines, a member of the oneworld airline alliance has a strong presence in the Indian Subcontinent, with over 80 weekly flights to seven Indian destinations. The Airline also provides convenient connections to Europe, Middle East, Far East and Male via Colombo.

OTM was spread over 20,000 sq. m, housing various domestic and international destinations, state and country pavilions, hotels and resorts, travel agents, tour operators and other travel service providers. Around 10,000 travel trade visitors from all over India and abroad visited the show.



SriLankan Airlines completes IATA Environmental Assessment

Taking forward the green legacy of the national carrier, SriLankan successfully completed the International Air Transport Association’s Environment Assessment (IEnvA) Program Stage 01 Assessment. SriLankan has completed the first of two stages of assessments alongside some other prominent international carriers including, Icelandair and Qatar Airways. South African Airways and Finnair have also recently completed the second and final assessments stage of the IEnvA Program.

SriLankan Airlines Head of Human Resources and the Convenor of the Green Team, Pradeepa Kekulawala said, “As the national carrier of Sri Lanka, that has been promoting the county’s natural beauty worldwide, we have been fully aware of our responsibility towards environment; this has driven us to involve ourselves in sustainable practices thereby contributing to conservation. The Green Team of SriLankan Airlines has been implementing many projects on carbon mitigation and waste management. We are proud that SriLankan Airlines has completed the IEnvA stage 1 Assessment, which goes to show our dedication towards environment as an airline, and the passengers who fly with us can take pride in the fact that they become contributors to conservation through their choice of airline.”

“These airlines are among the pioneers in this critical new program. IATA’s audits and assessment schemes are impartial, independent evaluations designed to improve industry performance against global benchmarks. The IATA Operational Safety Audit has done much to help improve airline safety and we expect that the IEnvA will do likewise for environmental standards” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director-General and CEO.

IEnvA has been developed in conjunction with airlines so that it addresses industry needs and specific concerns. IEnvA assesses environmental performance against sustainability standards across a broad range of disciplines, including (but not limited to) the management of air quality and emissions, noise, fuel consumption and operational efficiency, recycling, energy efficiency, sustainable procurement, and biofuel utilization. Further this evaluation system is designed to independently assess and improve the environmental management of an airline and as a voluntary programme IEnvA helps airlines to simplify regulatory compliance, demonstrate good governance and achieve financial savings from the better use of resources.

SriLankan Airlines, Environmental Compliance and Planning Manager, Mr. Dhanushka de Silva said, “This is a proud moment for SriLankan Airlines when the  Airline’s Environment Strategic and Compliance unit achieves a great milestone in terms of environmental standards and regulatory compliances. This signifies our team effort and commitment to organise and structure our operational processes according to the International environmental standards.”


SriLankan takes delivery of second A330-300, re-fleeting expected to power turnaround

SriLankan takes delivery of second A330-300, re-fleeting expected to power turnaround


SriLankan Airlines Friday took delivery of its second Airbus 330-300 continuing an extensive re-fleeting program it hopes will enable it to turnaround to profit from its present loss-making position.

The new aircraft named “The City of Sihagiri ” will be utilised on the major Far Eastern markets of Canton, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, the airline said in a news release.

This latest wide body A330-300 aircraft with superior inflight features and comfort, advanced technological features and enhanced fuel efficiency joins the airline’s existing all Airbus fleet. The fuel efficiency, particularly, is expected to be a major factor in a turnaround.

SriLankan CEO Kapila Chandrasena said, “The induction of another new A330-300 aircraft in to our fleet within a short span of two months is another testimony for our continuous efforts to modernise our aircraft fleet to deliver a superior flying experience for our valued passengers.

“We at SriLankan firmly believe the new A330-300s will be successful chapter for us in operational terms, with the most recently acquired aircraft reflecting a strong customer interest and high seat factors on the routes it has been deployed on to date.

“We have already received very encouraging feedback from our customers expressing high levels of satisfaction on the superior features and comfort of this aircraft.”

The A330-300 powered by twin Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines known for its proven passenger appeal and fuel efficiency is one of the most widely used wide body aircraft in service today.

With the latest arrival of a brand new aircraft and another five to follow during the course of 2015, SriLankan Airlines says it will offer its customers the luxury of completely transformed Business and Economy class cabin interiors.

“Passengers will be afforded a new flying experience whilst satisfying customer demand for increased capacity on the primary routes of the Far East thus enabling the airline to increase passenger traffic, strengthen load factors and improve on market share in leading growth markets of the region and including some of Sri Lanka’s main tourism generating markets,” the news release said.

Affording optimum levels of comfort in the aircraft cabin, this new A330-300 too will configure its layout seating 297 passengers in two classes accommodating 28 in Business Class with flatbed seats and 269 in Economy.  It also boasts of state- of-the- art cabin features, such as the latest Thales Avant Audio-Video on Demand (AVOD) and ambient lighting across both cabins, on-board wireless connectivity and ultra-comfort in seating, it added.

SriLankan said it is the first airline from the Indian Subcontinent to offer in-flight Wi-Fi and mobile phone access, enabling its passengers to stay productive and keep in touch with friends and family at affordable rates while flying.

The airline commenced its fleet renewal programme in October this year with the addition of the first A330-300 to its fleet. SriLankan will also be acquiring eight of the new generation A350-900s, with three due to be delivered in 2016 and a fourth in 2017 and the balance thereafter.


Mattala Rajapaksa Int’l Airport opens

Today 18, March 2013, would be a red letter day in Sri Lanka’s aviation sector when Sri Lanka opens its second international airport. (MRIA) MRIA, Hambantota, Sri Lanka’s second ‘Gateway’ to the world, springs new hopes, aspirations, ambitions and excitement for Sri Lanka’s aviation industry, business, trade and leisure sectors, opening up a major growth opportunity for SriLankan Airlines.

The new airport would fulfill one of the longest infrastructure needs of the local aviation sector, a second international airport. Previously, airlines had to carry additional fuel and used to have back up plans in case they were unable to land in Colombo and with the opening of the MRIA, this major problem has been solved thus giving the airline additional savings.

Minster of Civil Aviation, Piyankara Jayaratne, said that one of the main reasons to build MRIC in Hambantota was the demand from the tourism sector where tourists wanted to start their tour by visiting wild life parks, (Yala) enjoy the sunny beaches in the Eastern province, cool themselves in the hill country, see the historic city of Kandy, followed by the cultural triangle and return via the Elephant orphanage in Pinnawela and finally enjoying the entertainment and shopping in Colombo, before departing.

The Mattala airport will also support the international cricket stadium, convention centre, harbour and most importantly the emerging economic zone and the International IT Park. MIRA will also be the only available air strip that could land the world’s largest aircraft, A380.

“We have reduced the fees of ground operations and airport fees in Mattala. In addition, we have introduced an “Open Sky Policy” which enables the landing of aircraft anytime in Mattala”. “In addition, we have mapped out several development plans for MRIA to refute allegations that Mattala was a White Elephant.”

SriLankan Airlines Chairman, Nishantha Wickramasingha, told Daily News Business that Sri Lankan Tourism can now aim at 2.5 million tourists in 2016. “The new airport would help Sri Lanka attract an additional million arrivals to the country,” he said.

Chairman, Airport Aviation Services, Prasanna Wickramasuriya, said that they have been marketing the MRIA for a long period and said that it had a sound business model to survive.

“We are targeting charter flights and logistic flights to use MRIA as it would be more viable for them as we have offered concessions,” he said. By providing water and fuel for aircraft and also providing maintenance services, the port can earn extra revenue which would be a commercially added advantage. All operations will be done through Katunayake. Aircraft landing at Mattala will fly through Katunayake. All flights operating through Shanghai, Beijing, Male, Riyadh, Buddha Gaya, etc. will fly to Mattala via Katunayake.

Two foreign airlines, flydubai and Air Arabia even before the completion of the airport, expressed their consent to start operations at Mattala and make it a destination for their flights.

In addition, several other airlines would be flying to MRIA soon. The cost of the project was funded by the Chinese Government. During the first phase, all basic facilities and requirements were completed, including a runway, taxiways and parking facilities. Any kind of airline in the world could land to Mattala International Airport. Mattala could accommodate massive aircraft such A 380 and even the largest aircraft Antanov 225.

The airport had been constructed as an eco-friendly airport, minimizing damage to the environment. During the second stage, aviation related facilities, such as a servicing and repairing centre for aircraft, pilot training centre, maintenance hub, private jet parking, technical training centres, hotels and many more facilities would be completed.

“SriLankan Airlines and Mihin, while operating several flights, plans to set up its Aviation Academy and a Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility with Lufthansa to expand its business in the South Asian region.” Catering for all flights that depart the MRIA; Engineering line maintenance support; and cargo handling whilst operating the airline’s own introductory schedule of flights, initially to the Maldives, the Middle East and China.

“For SriLankan Airlines, this is a quantum leap where we have the convenience of utilizing two international airports just 90.8 nautical miles apart, affording flexibility and new avenues for innovative expansion and development,” said SriLankan Airlines’ Chief Executive Officer, Kapila Chandrasena.

“We have recruited and we continue to recruit young Sri Lankans from new regions in the island, to enter lucrative careers in the dynamic aviation industry.”

Gunarathna said that the new airport commences its operations at a time the Tourism Industry of Sri Lanka was experiencing a steady growth, recording more than 46% annual growth over the years.

“As such, Sri Lanka Tourism is delighted to witness the opening of the MRIA and feel confident that it was definitely going to contribute in a mega scale for the development of tourism.”

These attractions are situated in close proximity to the Mattala Airport and introduced recently for tourists following the peaceful environment prevailing in these parts of the country, as a result of establishing peace, law and order by the Government of Sri Lanka.”

The strategic location of the new airport would also be significant in around the Eastern and Southern Provinces to serve the purpose of the frequent travellers who wish to travel at short transit times to visit tourism hot spots such as Nuwara Eliya Galle Arugam Bay, Yala National Park, Willpattu National Park, etc. Reaching these key tourism destinations from Mattala Airport is less time consuming than traveling from the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.”

Veteran hosteller Chandra Wickramasinge of Maalu Maalu fame said that the MRIA would be a major boost to the development of tourism specially in the Eastern province. Tourists can now come to the East in less than three hours,” he said.

Chairman, Master Divers and Former Director of the Southern Development Authority, Ariyasiri Wickramanayaka told the Daily News Business that the new venture of opening the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) is a highly commendable step taken by the government.

“I am one of the pioneers who proposed to take this development into Hambantota. In fact, it was me who proposed to build the Hambantota port as Galle was not large enough. Therefore, I am happy that the new international airport is being built in Hambantota because it is where we are meant to be,” he said.

According to Wickramanayaka, Hambantota will be the next capital of Sri Lanka due to its ample space vacant for opportunity. According to him the fact that the airport and port, being bigger than the Katunayaka Airport and Colombo port, will attract many business opportunities.

“This is where we belong. Galle was the capital when the Dutch were here and Colombo was the capital when the British were here but now it is time we go back to the capital which was truly local and before the invasion, the late Magampura and the present Hambantota, we are going back home,” he said.

According to him opening the MRIA is a practical step as people would be drawn there business wise and it will be the future economic hub.

“If people want to earn a US $ 200 salary in future, Hambantota is the place to go, and that is were people will go to earn a good living as there is plenty of job opportunities,” he said.

Minister Jayaratne

Nishantha Wickramasinghe

Prassana Wickramasuriya

Bashwara Gunaratne

Ariyasiri Wickramanayaka

Krishanthi Weerasinghe

Chief Executive Officer, Hambantota Chamber of Commerce, Krishanthi Weerasinghe said that Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport will bring in a lot of opportunities for the business community because of the development in the tourism sector.

She said that with the new airport, all the other areas in the vicinity, namely Tissamaharama, Tangalle, Belliatta and other towns will develop rapidly. Weerasinghe said that there is ample chance for the development of infrastructure facilities due to the opening of opportunities in the area.

The majority of land belongs to the government, therefore, the government could easily provide more opportunities for the development and attract foreign investments into the country.

General Manager, Peacock Beach Hotel, Nalin Fernando said that this area was neglected for sometime and with the opening of the new airport there would be a big boom in the hotel and tourism sector in the area.

He said this would be a great move by the government to create a window of opportunities not only to the area but also to the whole country. This airport would bring enormous opportunities to the country from medium to long term perspectives.

Meanwhile, taking an international visual aspect on the proceedings of MRIA, a delegation from Germany and France visited Sri Lanka to enter into deals regarding rubber with one of Sri Lanka’s well known Rubber exporting companies, said that it will ease their burden of travel and that the location, though is highly condemned is by no way an inconvenience.

According to these delegates they expect MRIA to reach the international standards and is sure that this new initiative will make way to increase the already expanding tourism industry. Taking a more general perspective, Daily News Business spoke to some constant travelers, former FedEx Sri Lanka Manager who travels as a hobby said that the MRIA will actually increase the convenience of travel as there might be less traffic in reaching the airport.

“The MRIA is bigger than the Katunayaka International Airport and thus, in my opinion, traveling from Sri Lanka is about to be a more comfortable experience,” he said.


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‘YoungSmiLes’ for kids from SriLankan Airlines

  SriLankan Airlines celebrated International Children’s Day on 1st October, with the long awaited launch of its kids frequent flyer programme – ‘YoungSmiLes’.

Open to children between two and eighteen years, ‘YoungSmiLes’ is operative in three distinctive categories – ‘Young Blue’, ‘Young Silver’ and ‘Young Gold’ and brings with it a range of benefits and conveniences to its young members.

Among them are Pre-assigned seating, Dedicated service centre, Waitlist priority, Priority check-in, Excess Baggage, Priority Baggage Delivery, FlySmiLes upgrades and free tickets, Lounge access, Guaranteed seat reservations, Retro Miles, Class bonus Miles and Tier bonus Miles depending on the category one is in

Manager Marketing Services, Mrs. Ruwanthi Rodrigo said, “The launch of ‘YoungSmiLes’ is the realisation of a long term dream. With it we’re proud to extend the excellence of our products and services to our junior passengers and welcome them to the SriLankan family. Not only do we welcome junior passengers resident in Sri Lanka, but also our thousands of junior passengers from all parts of the world”.

Applications could be obtained from The child’s parent or guardian needs to complete the YoungSmiLes Application Form and forward it with a letter of consent together with a copy of both the adult’s and child’s passport.

Applications should be sent to  FlySmiLes on or fax the documents to 019733 5333.

To celebrate the launch, SriLankan Airlines is offering bonus miles for new enrollments upto 31 October 2011. If the parent or guardian is an existing FlySmiLes member, the YoungSmiLes member will receive a bonus of 1500 miles. For non-members, the YoungSmiLes member will receive a bonus of 1000 miles.

Travel undertaken prior to the launch of the YoungSmiLes Programme is not eligible to be accrued. Once the member reaches 18 years of age, membership will be automatically converted to FlySmiLes with no consent required from the Parent/Guardian.

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