‘Enormous challenges for airline industry’
There are enormous challenges for the airline industry with the whole
world feeling the full impact of the economic downturn, said Country
Manager Cathay Pacific John Holden.
Country Manager Cathay Pacific Airways
John Holden. Pic Iresha Waduge
He said that the passenger levels are still maintained in the leisure
sector but there are signs of softening.
The business passenger levels have already softened in the Sri Lankan
market. There is a significant drop in the business class travel. During
this downturn business class travellers will opt to travel economy class
to cut down costs while some have cut travelling altogether.
He said that Free Individual Travellers and group travelling from Sri
Lanka is still taking place in the normal way but uncertainty will be
seen during the year.
Globally too the airline has seen a drop in economy class travelling,
The Country Manager said that their main competitor is SriLankan
Airlines but the airline also enjoys healthy competition with Singapore
Airlines and Thai Airways.
He was of the opinion that in this market there is a reasonable
number of choices for the travelling public.
Speaking of upgrades to the fleet Cathay Pacific Country Manager said
that since the end of 2007 the airline is progressively launching a
first class and business class in the long haul routes.
The airline adopted a suite concept with more space. The new business
class is equipped with fully flat beds while new innovative designs with
own defined space for the economic class.
The airline continues to provide a premium service on ground as well
as on air.
He said that Cathay Pacific wants to give a hassle free experience to
all its valued customers.
He said that at all times the staff would go that extra mile
genuinely to make customers feel comfortable and valued.
Cathay Pacifics long haul routes are Hong Kong to North America, Hong
Kong to Europe as well as some parts of Australia.
operations in Sri Lanka
Holden said that Cathay Pacific started operations in Sri Lanka on
October 1, 1993. He assured that Cathay Pacific is committed to this
market and they are here for the long term. Finalys Colombo PLC is the
GSA and this relationship has helped the airline to get a lot of local
expertise and it enhances its service to Sri Lankan customers.
Speaking of security issues he said that it doesn’t bother much and
the general feeling is that the security situation in Sri Lanka is
improving.He said that the local traffic conditions are worse than the
security situation of the country.
Holden said that Sri Lanka has a lot of world class places to offer
for the tourists coming to Sri Lanka. He said that his visit to Kandy
and Nuwara Eliya was an eye opener.
“Therefore I want to promote Sri Lanka to tourists around the globe.”
Valentine’s Month at Confifi Hotels
Confifi Hotels has taken a novel step to dedicate the entire month of
February this year to the Valentine’s Day, across its three Bentota
coastline properties - Eden Resort & Spa, Riverina Hotel and Club Palm
“As a special offer to celebrate Valentine’s Month, patrons who book
two nights during the month of February at any one of our three hotels,
are automatically entitled to a 50% discount on the second night”,
Director/General Manager - Marketing & Sales of the Confifi Group
Hotels, Tony Maheswaran said. Nurturing the spirit of caring and loving,
Eden Resort and Spa, Riverina and Club Palm Garden will treat their
clientele with a special Valentine’s Menu, a range of theme desserts,
cocktails, chocolates, and special romantic dining options alfresco and
under the stars.
SriLankan Airlines win ‘Airline of the Year’ award
SriLankan Airlines received the highest number of awards of any
single company at the Second Annual Presidential Awards for Travel &
Tourism, winning three of the major categories that were presented. Sri
Lanka’s National Carrier won the categories of “Airline of the Year”,
“Outbound Tour Operator”, and “Tourism Education & Training Effort”.
The Presidential Awards for Travel & Tourism are the country’s
highest annual accolades to organisations and individuals who have
excelled in the development of tourism in Sri Lanka, and whose
outstanding contributions play a significant role in the success of the
tourism industry. It is conducted by the Ministry of Tourism and Sri
Lanka Tourism. Acting Chairman of SriLankan Airlines, Nishanta
Wickremasinghe, said: “SriLankan Airlines has traditionally been a
pioneer in many aspects of the country’s tourism industry, and we are
delighted to win these accolades for our efforts. The National Carrier
has always been a pillar of strength which the entire country relies
upon, and this is especially so of the tourism industry.”
Heritance Kandalama Best Five Star Resort
Heritance Kandalama, was recognised as the Best 5-Star Resort at the
Presidential Awards for Travel and Tourism for the second consecutive
The objective of this prestigious awards ceremony is to recognise and
reward excellence among industry stakeholders of past and present and to
encourage and ensure an even greater contribution in the future. The
awards criterion is designed to motivate industry stakeholders to work
towards the primary goal of sustainable development of the tourism
“We are thrilled and honoured that Heritance Kandalama has once again
been recognised by the Presidential Awards for Travel and Tourism. We
strive continuously to ensure that the guest experience at our hotel is
unparalleled globally. Being recognised as the country’s best is a
humbling feat, which has invigorated our commitment of delivering
exceptional experiences to our guests”, said General Manager, Heritance
Kandalama. Jeevaka Weerakone.
Heritance Kandalama is positioned regally by the placid waters of the
Kandalama tank; it surveys the rich wildlife that visits its precincts.
Located amidst verdant jungle, calm waters and rocky mountains, it
offers a holiday where one can wake up to bird calls, stunning vistas,
profuse foliage and absolute luxury. Heritance Kandalama is flanked by
two UNESCO world heritage sites-the 1st century BC Dambulla rock temple
and the 5th century AD Sigiriya rock fortress while it also has its
share of unrivalled international recognition.