SriLankan Airlines has acquired its fifth Airbus A320 aircraft increasing its fleet to 17. The airline plans to get as many as five more aircraft this year, one A340, two A320s and two Turbo Otter air taxis. The rapid expansion of the fleet is to provide capacity for the large increase in the number of destinations that SriLankan Airlines flies to and service the increase in frequencies to existing destinations. SriLankan presently flies to 42 destinations in 23 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
SriLankan uses its A320s to service its network of destinations in South Asia and the Middle East.
“SriLankan Airlines is by far the biggest foreign operator to India. The arrival of this aircraft allows us greater flexibility in servicing our present 10 Indian destinations, and the opportunity to serve even more cities, which we are planning,” said Peter Hill, CEO, SriLankan Airlines.
The airline launched services to Calicut in southern India on the 1st of July, and has announced plans to begin flights to Ahmadabad later this year. It presently flies to New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Trichy, Trivandrum, Bodh Gaya, Kochi and Hyderabad - a total of 66 flights per week with daily flights to many of the ten cities.
The airline now operates five four-engined long range A340s, four twin-engined medium range A330s, five A320s, one Cessna Caravan amphibious aircraft, and two Antonov AN12 freighter aircraft.
SriLankan said it expects to acquire one or two more long range aircraft later this year, as it will be entering the China market in November, with the launch of thrice-weekly flights between Colombo and Beijing via Bangkok.
SriLankan also recently increased its frequencies to London (12 per week), Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Muscat and Bahrain.
The airline’s domestic service, SriLankan Air Taxi, is also rapidly expanding its services, and plans to increase its number of amphibious aircraft to three from the present single aircraft. SriLankan Air Taxi recently increased its network by adding two more destinations - Weerawila near the southern coast and Ampara in the southeast. Other destinations include the ancient hill capital of Kandy in the central highlands, the southwestern coastal resort of Bentota, the southern heritage city of Galle, the coastal resort of Trincomalee on the east coast famed for its tranquil beaches, the cultural sights and ruined cities of Sigiriya-Polonnaruwa, and Anuradhapura the seat of the first Sri Lankan kings more than 2,000 years ago. SriLankan Air Taxi also operates to both of Colombo’s airports - the Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake, and Colombo Airport-Ratmalana.