SriLankan Airlines wants more routes in Pakistan

Published: July 7, 2012
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The carrier flies to
60 destinations in 33
countries in Europe,
the Middle East, South
Asia, Southeast Asia,
the Far East, North
America and Australia. PHOTO: AFP

The carrier flies to 60 destinations in 33 countries in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Far East, North America and Australia. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: 

At a time when most foreign airlines are closing shop in Pakistan, the national carrier of Sri Lanka has vowed to expand its operations if it’s given the chance.

We have approval to operate to Islamabad and Lahore but we are looking at more routes than just the two, said SriLankan Airlines Chief Marketing Officer GT Jeyaseelan while speaking at the inauguration of its new office.

“We are a small airline but our expansion plans are big and that all depends on the approval and the development in the next few months,” Jeyaseelan added.

SriLankan Airlines started operations in 1980 with three weekly flights to Pakistan and have expanded its frequency to a daily flight from Karachi to Colombo.

Malaysia Airlines ceased its operations from Pakistan earlier this year as part of its Business Plan announced in December last year, to stem its losses anticipated in 2011 and 2012.

“The relationship that we have started today will be the foundation for that”, he said adding “we believe it would not take more that three to six months’ time.

Airlines officials invited Pakistan International Airlines to operate flights to Colombo. PIA had stopped flying planes between the route a few years ago.

“We are looking to enhance cooperation between SriLankan Airlines and the PIA,” said Jeyaseelan.

“We will be more than happy to invite them to jointly operate between Karachi and Colombo,” said Jeyaseelan.

Even if we start operations beyond Pakistan to any other country we would be pleased to work with PIA.  Airlines tend to collaborate on long flights which involves a route on of the two don’t operate.

The airline flies to 60 destinations in 33 countries in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Far East, North America and Australia.

Sri Lanka and Pakistan are two close, friendly neighbours,” Jeyaseelan remarked.

The airline also announced the appointment of TCB Aviation as its general sales agent.

Typically, the GSA is responsible for selling all products of the airline including flight tickets and cargo space. Airlines normally use a GSA in areas that it does not operate to or from, allowing them to have a sales presence in a country at lower cost than opening their own offices, according to Wikipedia.

“We look forward to a new era in operations in Pakistan with the appointment of TCB Aviation,” said SriLankan Airline Head of Worldwide Sales Lal Perera. Perera pinned hopes of its airlines growing following its partnership.

Ali Majid, CEO of TCB Aviation, predicted a bright future for the SriLankan-TCB partnership.

Earlier, a traditional oil lamp ceremony took place at the brand new office of SriLankan Airlines on Friday morning. Ayaz Soomro, Sindh Law Minister, was the chief guest at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Also present at the well-attended event were senior SriLankan Airlines officials Lal Perera, Lalith De Silva and a number of bank presidents.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Faisal Shaji
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:40AM

    I am a regular traveler and take Sri Lankan for my trips to far east countries. I must say Sri Lankan is doing an admirable job. I thoroughly enjoy my journeys since the staff is always compassionate and I feel lot of expertise of the captain especially when they fly above China in dangerous weather conditions.

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  • usyed
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:49AM

    That sound good atleast somebody is knocking the door……dont missed the oppurtunity…..both country can co operate ……

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  • Oopsie!!
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:05AM

    Malaysia Airlines ceased its operations from Pakistan earlier this year as part of its Business Plan announced in December last year, to stem its losses anticipated in 2011 and 2012.

    Why was this even mentioned in the article? Malaysian Airlines..who was discussing it anyway?

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  • Maher
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:15PM

    In recent times, Pakistani travelers are more frequent to travel to Malaysia, Singapore and Australia and I think traveling from Sri Lankan is a good option.

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  • adeel
    Jul 7, 2012 - 5:49PM

    Wow what a great news. Long live SriLanka & Pakistan Friendship.

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  • Ali
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:02PM

    Wow, what a great news. I’ve flown Sri Lankan Airlines a couple of times from Karachi to KL. The service, food and the crew is so much better than PIA’s. Sri Lankan has become the preferred airlines of passengers from Karachi to fly to destinations in S.E Asia, China, Japan and S. Asia. Hope they connect Islamabad, Peshawar and Lahore very soon.

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