Sri Lankan Airlines on expansion spree, Kerala to get topmost priority 

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  SriLankan Airlines is all set to expand its operations in Kerala. The airline is likely to add one more flight to Thiruvananthapuram during the coming winter schedule. At present, the airline operates six flights a week from Thiruvananthapuram and 10 flights from Kochi. The airline is also looking forward to starting service from Kozhikode airport based on the availability of aircraft.

V Ravindran, regional manager, of India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, told TNIE that Sri Lankan Airlines is on an expansion drive and will start more flights to various destinations in India.

“Priority is being given to Kerala, as many people from the state are travelling to Sri Lanka as tourists. Sri Lanka has cheaper hotels and accommodation facilities. Compared to other countries, including the Maldives, Sri Lanka has better destinations with cheaper packages. So we are getting frequent passengers from Kerala. That is why we decided to expand our operations in Kerala. As an immediate plan, we will start one more service from Thiruvananthapuram during the winter schedule,” Ravindran said.

He pointed out that the business prospects of the Vizhinjam port will be immense, as it will enhance the connectivity of air cargo between Colombo and Thiruvananthapuram in the future. There has been a steep rise in passengers from India to Sri Lanka in the past seven months. It indicates that Sri Lanka has become a preferred tourist destination for people from India, especially from Kerala, Ravindran added.

As part of increasing air connectivity from Thiruvananthapuram to Colombo, the Sri Lankan airlines have appointed Sandun Jayasinghe as an area manager in Thiruvananthapuram. Ravindran also said that the Sri Lankan government is in talks with many private airlines, including Tata, Adani, and Emirates, to privatise the airline. 

The crisis in Sri Lanka last year prompted the airlines to depend on Thiruvananthapuram airport for refuelling purposes and for technical landings. Ravindran said that things are getting normal in Sri Lanka, and hence, the business of the airline is also picking up. Launched in 1979, SriLankan Airlines is currently expanding and further diversifying its wide range of products and services to drive the country’s ongoing boom in tourism and economy.

The airline’s hub is located at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, providing convenient connections to its global route network of 112 destinations in 58 countries. SriLankan Airlines has a global workforce of approximately 6,000 employees based in Sri Lanka and abroad. The airline has training programmes in all aviation-related fields in order to cater to its own expansion and the constant need to replace its staff as they are in high demand in the aviation sector.

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