SriLankan air to begin domestic flights

Ajith-DiasSriLankan Airlines will negotiate with an Asian based air service company to begin a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) centre at the Mattala airport in Hambatota.

SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias has said that the airline is going to re-evaluate to begin domestic operations next year.

“We are hoping to acquire two 40 seater aircraft for this operation and hope to operate regular flights to selected domestic airports.’’ “There are 12 domestic airports in Sri Lanka and with increased tourism we see great potential in this project.’’

Commenting on the re fleeting of the airline he said that by the end on this year they will have seven new aircraft increasing the total fleet to 20. “In the next two years we will get eight more.’’ Subsequently all ageing A340 aircraft will be retired and Sri Lankan will have a fleet less than 3 years of age.

All these aircrafts will be for SriLankan Airlines and not for Mihin.

With the new aircraft the national carrier will add more frequencies to key destinations. “The airline may not look at new routes but will increase frequencies to existing destinations that include China, London and India.’’

To date Sri Lanka has flown 600,000 passengers from the European sector and in total are looking for a target of 3.5 million passengers for 2015. Next year’s target will be 4 million passengers.

Commenting on profits he said they can look at a breakeven point in the next two and half years. “the new aircraft in away will help on fuel but leases too will have to be paid.’’

He said the one world alliance has done the airline good as it could now cater to a bigger market.

Asked to comment on investigations carried against the former Chairman and CEO he said they are progressing and he too is summoned from time to time to give information.




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