National carrier SriLankan Airlines is planning a 22 per cent increase in weekly flights to meet demand during the next winter season.
CEO Richard Nuttall said in a statement that the increases will be seen across its wide network of destinations in India, West Asia, Far East and Europe.
“Our current 122 weekly flights to 15 destinations across the Indian Subcontinent is targeted for a 16 per cent increase; the 41 weekly flights to seven West Asian destinations by seven per cent; the 52 weekly flights to the Far East by over 50 per cent; and the 13 weekly flights to Europe is expected to go up by 15 per cent,” he added.
Prior to the pandemic, the airline had a fleet of 27 aircraft of which 23 are currently in operation. There are plans to lease more aircraft.
In line with increasing passenger capacity, the airline hopes the increased frequencies will help to bring in more tourists.
Arrivals between January and May 2023 rose sharply to 524,486 compared to 378,521 in the same 2023 period, as Sri Lanka continues to recover after a devastating economic crisis last year compounded by the pandemic.
India was the top source market followed by Russia, Germany, the UK and Australia.
Meanwhile, the Travel Agents Association of India is holding its 2023 Convention in Colombo from July 6 to 9, on the invitation of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. The event is expected to attract 500 delegates from India.