SriLankan Airlines has been named 2004 ‘Airline Turnaround of the Year’, paying tribute to the efforts of both management and staff in repositioning the carrier following a terrorist attack on Katunayake Airport in Colombo in 2001 when it lost half its fleet.The award, from The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), is judged by industry specialists, in recognition of aviation business strategy and leadership, rather than conventional inflight product brands.
The committee praised SriLankan for its multi-pronged development that has encompassed expansion to India and China as well as promotion of Colombo as a regional hub.
According to the carrier’s CEO, Peter Hill, the award reinforced the viability of SriLankan’s growth strategy and its claim to be one of the major players in the regional aviation sector.
“In just three years, we have grown our fleet and network to encompass 42 destinations in 23 countries from Europe to the Middle East and the Far East,” he said.
“Colombo is becoming a viable hub for transit between east and west, as well as a gateway in to the Indian sub-continent, and, during this time, we have nearly doubled profitability - and all this has been achieved by our staff working together to revitalise the carrier following the catastrophic events of 2001.”
Hill said that the award was an endorsement of immense value to SriLankan Airlines in its continued pursuit of excellence and development of new destinations in the region and beyond.
It is the latest in a string of accolades for the Sri Lankan carrier, which was voted as the Best Airline in Central Asia in 2004 by Skytrax Research, the fourth consecutive year it has topped this nomination in the world’s largest airline passenger survey.