The inaugural passenger flight of SriLankan Airlines (UL115) from Colombo to Coimbatore landed here on Monday morning, making the city the 52nd destination in the world for the Airlines.
The International carrier with the highest frequency in to India with 99 flights a week, to 11 destinations, will operate four flights a week to Coimbatore starting from November 23.
“Till then, there would be three flights a week on Monday, Thursday and Friday. The fourth flight would fly on saturday,’’ said Mayoni de Silva, Sales Manager,Coimbatore.
The other Indian destinations for the SriLankan Airlines includes Chennai, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Kochi, Trichy, Calicut, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Goa.
Speaking to journalists at the inaugural function, Manoj Gunawardena, Head of Worldwide Passenger Sales, said, the Airlines would bridge the gap between India, West and the Middle East.
“SriLankan Airlines had positioned Colombo as the gateway to India, and we were continuosly increasing our services,’’ he said.
He also pointed out that the 100th flight a week to India would fly on November 27 and was looking at Madurai as the next destination in Tamil Nadu.
“Our target was to enter 20 tier- 2 cities in India and we were looking at Mangalore and Madurai, in the near future,’’ he said.
He further added that the Airlines was planning to expand their operations to Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi. Senaka Fernando, Regional Manager, Indian Subcontinent & Maldives, said that the new service to coimbatore would be useful to many segments, especially for businessmen ,leisure traveller and those who visit for relatives and friends.
He said that SriLanka was a popular destination among Indian tourists for its value-for-money shopping, diverse climates and landscapes, and ancient cultural sites.
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