04 September 2010

SriLankan Airlines Restarts Floatplane Domestic Service. Buys Five Airbus A320's to Fly New Routes

03rd September 2010, www.lankabusinessonline.com

SriLankan Airlines, Sri Lanka's state-run national said it will acquire two floatplanes to re-start domestic air services later this year and also buy five short haul Airbus A320 aircraft next year as it looked to fly new routes.

SriLankan said it will acquire two De Havilland Canada Twin Otter floatplanes to "more than a dozen" domestic destinations including Colombo.

The airline will acquire five new Airbus A320 aircraft. Three will be brand new, and fitted with audio-video on demand entertainment systems. Its existing A330 and A340 fleet will be fitted with 'flatbeds' in business class.

"SriLankan Airlines intends to be a catalyst for our country’s economic expansion, by supporting the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to transform the island into a hub," the airline quoted chairman Nishanta Wickremasinghe as saying at a ceremony.

"We believe this is the right time for the National Carrier to expand our products and services - our country is at peace; tourists are flocking to our shores in record numbers; and the economy is growing."

The airline lost 6.03 billion rupees in the year to March 2010, and 9.99 billion rupees a year earlier. Sri Lanka's government bought out Emirates, which managed the airline for 10-years. The government now owns 94.68 percent of the airline, and the employees 5.32 percent.

The airline said its subsidiary SriLankan Catering had also taken over the management of a 24 roomed transit hotel at the international airport in Katunayake.

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