The new daily frequencies serving the Chinese destinations will further enhance services for Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka, which is one of the most popular destinations of Chinese travelers, Srilankan Airlines Regional Manager Asia Pacific Dimuthu Tennakoon said.
We also have some excellent connections to our destinations in Europe and the Middle East, which offer convenience for travelers from those regions to visit China and vice versa, he said.
With these developments contribution to the national carrier was 35 per cent Tennakoon told the media in Beijing in China. Around 56 million Chinese are forecast to travel abroad for holidays while the number of Chinese travelers to Sri Lanka will double towards the end of 2014 compared to last year. In 2013 more than 62,000 Chinese tourists arrived in Sri Lanka.
In the first six months of this year there had been more than 62,000 Chinese tourists who arrived here, which will tap more than 120,000, Tennakoon said.
China now accounts for the biggest source market for the Maldives, displacing the traditional European holidaymakers. SriLankan Airlines is the biggest international operator to the Maldives.
SriLankan is currently completing the transformation of its longhaul Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft which serve China’s cities, installing luxurious Flat Bed Seating in Business Class and sophisticated Audio Video on Demand (AVOD) entertainment systems in all passenger cabins, he said.
Sri Lankan Airlines has expansion plans to 15 new secondary Chinese destinations and for that they are now looking at possibilities to launch them in time to come, he said. He said that in tandem with the rebound in tourism following the end of conflict, more world and star class hotels are being built in addition to an upgrade in infrastructure including a new airport in Mattala.
These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges oneworld also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors.
With these new promotions the airline’s cabin factor is 90 percent and they are operating with 10,000 Bank Settlement Plan (BSP) agents throughout China, while the number of frequent individual travelers increased from 10 percent to 40 percent, Tennakoon said. Comprising 12 of the world’s best and popular airlines, oneworld is the current holder of more international awards for airline alliances than any of its competitors.
Members include American Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Finnair, Iberia, Air Berlin, LAN, Royal Jordanian and Russia’s S7 Airlines and around 20 affiliates. Malaysian Airlines will be joining later this year.
The national carrier currently operates total of 15 weekly flights to Beijing Shanghai, Canton and Hong Kong and this initiative will be marking its presence in the South-Western China as well.