SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka and the newest member of the oneworld global airline alliance, celebrates thirty-five years of flying, at the Airline Centre in Katunayake, today.
Founded in 1979, SriLankan has expanded its services to 89 destinations in 44 countries across the globe, operating around 260 weekly flights out of Bandaranaike International Airport, with its all Airbus fleet of 21 aircraft.
SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said: “SriLankan Airlines has been progressively supporting the Government’s vision of making Sri Lanka an aviation hub and an aviation knowledge centre in Asia. To achieve these targets, the national carrier has been steadily expanding its reach and enhancing its training facilities to cater to the growing demands of the industry.”
The national carrier has undertaken the arduous task of replacing its wide-body fleet, starting this year. The airline’s extensive fleet renewal plan will see the arrival of six brand new Airbus A330-300 aircraft and seven next generation Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The first A330 aircraft will be added to its existing fleet, in October this year.
SriLankan Airlines, Chief Executive Officer Kapila Chandrasena said: “These aircraft will replace our existing wide-body fleet and allow us to offer a wider range of destinations, seamless connectivity and a superior service to our passengers, while also achieving improvements in efficiency and yields. SriLankan carried over 4.2 million passengers last year; out of which the in-bound traffic facilitated by SriLankan is over 2 million. These figures are set to increase steadily over the next few years in concurrence with our fleet expansion.”
The national carrier launched its new Aviation Academy, which will provide the opportunity for local students to expand their aviation knowledge. In view of establishing Sri Lanka as a knowledge hub for aviation, the Simulator Centre of SriLankan Airlines, which is one of the few EASA certified institutions in the region, providing A320-A330 simulator training will be further developed to cater to aspirant youth looking for lucrative carriers in aviation.
SriLankan will also be establishing an aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Facility at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in the near future to provide MRO services for the regional carriers.
SriLankan Airlines joined the oneworld airline alliance on 1 May this year as the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent. SriLankan now flies alongside some of the biggest and premier brands in the airline business – airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 airlines. Together with its oneworld membership, the flagship carrier of Sri Lanka offers its customers convenient connections to a thousand destinations in over 150 countries.