SriLankan Airlines to double fleet by 2015; 100 new flights within four years
SriLankan Airlines Chairman, Nishantha Wickremasinghe, stated the carrier has drawn up a new five-year plan, aimed at returning the national carrier to profitability while acting as a catalyst for growth (dailynews, 10-Jun-2010). Further details include:
- Fleet plans: The carrier expects its fleet to be doubled by 2015, with the addition of new and near-new A330s. This progressive increase in fleet size is designed to cater for the projected growth of the country’s tourism industry. The first of the new aircraft is expected to be delivered in Jul-2010;
- Network: The carrier intends to increase its number of flights by 15% in the present financial year and add a further 100 flights within four years. The carrier plans to increase operations to destinations including Jakarta, Sydney, Far East, Europe, India and the Middle East both directly and through codeshare partnerships to widen its global network of 49 destinations in 32 countries. The frequency at a number of destinations will also be increased, including on Japan and China services. The carrier has also adopted a strategy of increasing seating and cargo capacity on all sectors by converting them to non-stop operations and progressively increasing frequencies as per market demand. This will result in capacity increases in 2010 to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Doha, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Muscat. The airline is also strengthening its operations in off-line regions where there is significant demand for travel to Sri Lanka such as Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, US and Canada;
- Partnerships: The carrier stated it is confident of the local management team and will not be looking for any other partner, with Mr Wickremasinghe commenting, "no partnership is necessary and the management team has wide experience to steer the venture to become a profitable airline in the future";
- Executive Appointment: Mr Wickremasinghe has been re-appointed SriLankan Airlines Chairman.