SriLankan flies to Kunming
SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of
the oneworld alliance, in a move to meet the increasing demand for air
services between China and Sri Lanka will launch operations to Kunming
on December 1.
The national carrier operates 15 weekly flights to Beijing, Shanghai,
Canton and Hong Kong and with this initiative, will be marking its
presence in South-western China as well. Known as 'the City of Eternal
Spring', Kunming is the capital and the largest city in Yunnan Province
of South West China.
The city is home to several universities, museums, galleries and
other important economic, cultural and educational institutions, making
it a popular destination among leisure and business travellers.
SriLankan Airlines, Chief Executive Officer, Kapila Chandrasena said,
“SriLankan Airlines has always viewed the Far East as one of its
priority markets where a gradual increase in the number of tourists
seeking Sri Lanka for holidaying has driven the airline to look into
more expansion opportunities to cater to the growing demand and to
motivate more travellers from both countries to explore the beauty of
the two destinations."
"SriLankan has been constantly enhancing its product and services to
meet the demands of the modern day traveller.
The new A330-300 aircraft which was added to our fleet recently as
part of our wide-body fleet renewal program, will be assigned primarily
on the Far Eastern routes such as Bangkok, Tokyo, Canton and Beijing.”
“China is a part of the long-term strategy of SriLankan to evolve its
network. In addition to our operations to China, SriLankan operates a
weekly charter flight to Chongqing which will continue till mid-December
until we resume operations in January," he said.
The addition of a new destination will benefit passengers who seek
onward connections to Middle East, India and the Maldives. With 40
flights a week to eight Middle Eastern cities, 88 weekly flights to
seven Indian destinations and 36 weekly frequencies to Male, SriLankan
passengers can enjoy seamless connectivity from Colombo.
SriLankan's codeshare services to the Seychelles with its sister
carrier, Mihin Lanka also provides greater convenience for leisure
Having welcomed the one millionth Chinese tourist to the island in
September this year, Sri Lanka sees a clear increase in the number of
Chinese travellers arriving in the country compared to last year.
According to Tourist Board statistics, from January to October this
year, Sri Lanka has received 106,888 tourists from China, which is a
139% increase compared to 44,742 during the corresponding period last
Chandrasena said, “SriLankan had operated Charter flights to Kunming
in the past and this initiative comes into being after various
evaluations and many tourism promotional activities conducted in the
region by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.”
With 54,000 Chinese travellers choosing the national carrier to
travel to the island in 2013, the airline, due to the high demand from
the sector, expects a total of 120,000-140,000 Chinese travellers to
visit the country by the end of this year.
For the first four months ending April 30, the number of travellers
from China to Sri Lanka on SriLankan Airlines was 36,000.
SriLankan will operate three weekly flights. Passengers will also get
the opportunity to enjoy the relaxing ambience and easy reclining
seating on board SriLankan Airlines' A320 aircraft that will be operated
on the route.
In April this year, SriLankan Airlines started operating eight direct
flights a week to Beijing and Shanghai and out of which four flights
operate via the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport.