SriLankan Cargo, the Cargo Division of SriLankan Airlines, took a giant step forward in its efforts to make Colombo the cargo hub of South Asia, when it launched its first dedicated freighter service on 25th September.
With this move, SriLankan Airlines now operates six flights a week to three cities in India and the Maldives, using a dedicated freighter aircraft. The service comprises two flights each to Trivandrum, Bangalore and Gan Islands.
SriLankan Cargo is using a newly acquired Antonov AN-12F aircraft to the three destinations. This aircraft can carry an average of 18,000 kilograms of cargo. It is a unitised version with four pallets.
“The new freighter service goes a long way towards making Colombo the cargo hub of South Asia,” says Naveen Gunawardene, Senior Manager, Cargo at SriLankan Cargo. “SriLankan Cargo intends to take advantage of the projected expansion of the Indian economy and provide enhanced cargo carriage services between the Indian
Sub-Continent and the rest of the world. Our aim is to make Colombo the Gateway to India.”
SriLankan Airlines already has regular flights on its Airbus A330 and A320 flights to New Delhi, Bombay, Madras, Trichy, Trivandrum and Male, which carry cargo in addition to passengers. From these points cargo can be transhipped to other destinations in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and Australia on the Airline`s route network, within hours of its arrival in Colombo, and vice versa.
SriLankan Cargo is already looking at expanding the freighter service to include more destinations such as Cochin and Hyderabad.