Srilanka’s premium national carrier, Srilankan Airlines has launched an aggressive strategy to expand their Indian operations . Witnessing a steep rise in demand across all cities, they have planned to increase frequency to existing destinations as well as fly to new routes.
SriLankan Visa Waiver
SriLanka has waived off visa for citizens of 48 countries in Australasia, Europe and North America from 1st August for a period of six months including India! . This results in a 20$ (INR 1400) savings per person.
SriLankan Flights to India
SriLanka Airlines was launched in 1979 and currently flies to 94 destinations in 44 countries. Their biggest and busiest routes is however to India only .
During my interview with Mr V.Ravindran (Regional Manager – India & Bangladesh, Srilankan Airlines), he said that Srilankan Airlines is probably one of the largest “full service carriers” outside India to have more than 121 flights a week across 13 cities. Some of these include Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi, Madurai & Trivandrum
Colombo to Tamil Nadu
Barely an hour’s away from Colombo to the coastal city of Chennai , it’s not surprising that 63 out of the total 121 flights are to Tamil Nadu alone. The frequency for TN is as follows :
- 4X daily to Chennai
- 2X Daily to Tiruchirapalli
- 4X Weekly to Coimbatore
Colombo to Other States in India
- 14 Weekly Flights to Kerala including Kochi and Trivandrum
- 3X Daily to Delhi
- 2X Daily to Mumbai
- 2X Daily to Bengaluru
- 3X Weekly to Kolkatta
Trying to tap on routes that AirIndia currently operates, they are currently planning to fly out to Calicut/Kozhikode ( A relatively new airport in Kerala) and Ahmedabad.
11/11 Singles Day Sale on SriLankan Airlines
The Srilankan Airlines strategy to celebrate 11/11 (Nov 11th) Singles day paid off well. A massive sale in Srilankan Airlines was announced just for a day with a huge 22% discount on Economy class and a 33% discount on Business class tickets (with flatbed options on select routes).
Watch out for more sales in the upcoming sale and grab some cheap international flight tickets to several Asian destinations.
SriLankan Airlines Fleet Size
Srilankan Airlines has a total of 27 aircrafts which includes
14 A330’s (wide body and high capacity) for long haul flights
13 A320 Neo (narrow body and medium capacity) , mostly to closer destinations like India.
One significant reason for opting the A320 to India is more to focus on the frequency of flights than capacity.
SriLankan Airlines Strategy – Connecting Asia & The Middle East
SriLankan Airlines not only portrays to be the national carrier to SriLanka but also an important airline in the Asian sector to be a hub between countries. This includes countries like Australia, China & Japan with daily direct flights to & fro to Colombo.
With premium service, extra baggage allowance and easier connectivity and relatively cheaper fares, SriLankan is also being preferred as a go-to airline for far east destinations. These connecting passengers actually form 70% of SriLankan’s passenger base.
The Srilanka-Australia is in fact one of their flagship routes with a high perceived value thanks to their connectivity, price , duration and other features.
Check out the entire flight schedules at www.srilankan.com/India
SriLankan Tourism – Top Island Destination
SriLanka has been recently featured as a top island & tourist destination popular magazines like LonelyPlanet . This has made it even more popular for people across European and Asian countries to fly out to Srilanka for a vacation and opt in to fly the national carrier of SriLankan Airlines.
India is no exception when it comes to choosing SriLanka as a tourist destination. More than 30,000 people visit the neighbouring country every single month , with the peak seasons being May to August.
The free SriLankan visa offer has just made the country even more attractive, be it for a short transit or a vacation destination
Walking down the Ramayana Trail
SriLanka , also plays a key role in acting as a historical destination. More than 65 places have been identified as part of the historical Ramayana trail including Sita Eliya. With the options of Tamil Speaking guides, shorter day itineraries, availability of Indian Vegetarian food, the cheap holiday packages offered by the country and tour operators seem to be an attractive option for middle & elderly aged peoplefrom India as well.
Planning to visit SriLanka ? Check out my 5 day Srilanka Travel itinerary for all the info on travel, food and things to do 🙂