SriLankan Airlines will be purchasing and taking delivery of their first brand new aircraft next month. This will be an A330 -300 aircraft which can carry 297 passengers (Business class 28). Being a wide bodied aircraft it could also increase cargo capacity as well.
The aircraft will be mainly used to enhance the national airlines' flights to the European sector. The airline also hopes to purchase nine other brand new aircrafts in the next few years.
One of the main reasons for the airline to opt for new aircrafts was to lower its fuel bill which is one of the biggest overheads for the airline as the current ageing fleet is not fuel efficient.
Demand out of Sri Lanka grew at an impressive annual growth rate of 8.6% (net of capacity) for the past two years, and is forecast to maintain the same trend for next five years. This was another reason to look for a new airline. Introduction of new, fuel efficient, wide-body Airbus A330-300 would immediately being about a 6-8% fuel cost saving. The introduction of Airbus A350-900 from 2016 will be a 12-15% fuel cost saving.
Meanwhile, SriLankan Engineering, a pioneer MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) service provider for regional carriers, has completed the replacement of all three landing gear assemblies of another A330 Aircraft of the national carrier. This marks the eighth occasion the complete gear assemblies were changed on wide body aircraft which commenced with the first change in 2010.
SriLankan Airlines, Engineering Head, Priyantha Rose said this signifies the position of SriLankan Engineering as a Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul (MRO) facility of choice in the region.