INDUSTRY players in Sri Lanka are elated that SriLankan Airlines will not be scrapping all flights to Europe, a move earlier considered due to losses made from the routes.
The national carrier had considered pulling out of Europe, with the exception of London, to cut losses while consolidating on profitable routes like India and the Middle East.
“We are delighted. This is a very positive move and shows the government is listening to the industry,” said Hiran Cooray, president of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL).
SriLankan Airlines last week announced that it will still discontinue flights to Rome but continue flying to London, Paris and Frankfurt, adding that flight capacity to the Middle East will be increased.
Ajit Dias, chairman, SriLankan Airlines said these frequencies will continue for awhile and there are no more plans to reduce frequencies. “We are also talking to several other airlines on code sharing arrangements (to cover sectors that the airline doesn’t fly to),” he said.
S. Paramanathan, managing director of Atlas Lanka Travels, said arrivals are rising even though it’s the shoulder season and hence not the time to reduce flights to European destinations.