Colombo, Nov 4 (IANS) SriLankan Airlines plans to increase its presence in India, not only to service the surge in passenger demand but also to ward-off competition in one of its key markets.
According to SriLankan Airlines Head of Worldwide Sales and Distribution Dimuthu Tennakoon, the airline, which already has over 120 flights a week to 14 destinations in India, plans to further strengthen its network.
“We have witnessed a steady growth in passenger numbers travelling in and out of India in the recent past,” Tennakoon told IANS here.
Last fiscal, the airline ferried 1,359,766 passengers from India to Sri Lanka, up from 1,285,325 passengers carried in 2015-16.
Already this fiscal, the airline has ferried 1,840,611 passengers from India till September.
“Our connectivity expansion in India focuses not only on enhancing frequencies to hub cities such as New Delhi but also on establishing our presence in Tier-II cities where we see increasing travel movements,” Tennakoon said.
As part of this exercise, SriLankan Airlines on November 1, 2017, commenced double-daily flight operations out of Mumbai.
Recently, the airline added Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam on to its India network.
Currently, it operates 13 weekly flights out of New Delhi, while the airline’s operations out of Chennai amount to five daily flights.
Additionally, double-daily services are operated out of Tiruchirappalli and Kochi.
(Rohit Vaid was in Colombo at the invitation of SriLankan Airlines. He can be contacted at email@example.com)