TUI mulls resumption of Sri Lanka charters

GERMANY-BASED TUI has locked on to Sri Lanka’s immense potential as a travel destination and is considering restarting weekly charter services to the country.

Peter Long, CEO of TUI, who was in Sri Lanka earlier this week, said TUI is still looking into the 300-pax weekly flights, among other opportunities.

“There is a lot of potential in Sri Lanka,” he told reporters in Colombo on Tuesday.

TUI had halted charters in 2010 in the face of falling demand from Europe after the global economic crisis, but Long said the changing economic outlook in Europe and attractiveness of Sri Lanka as a destination are behind TUI’s about-turn.

In November last year, Spanish hotel chain Riu Hotels & Resorts announced it is partnering Aitken Spence Hotels, TUI’s local agent for Sri Lanka, to develop a 500-room hotel on Sri Lanka’s south coast (TTG Asia e-Daily, November 5, 2013).

Riu will collaborate with TUI to operate the charter flights once its hotel is ready for occupation in winter 2015.

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