Monday, October 18, 2010

SriLankan Airlines to acquire seven new aircraft by 2011-end

COLOMBO: National carrier SriLankan Airlines today stated it's going to soon purchase its first brand of new aircraft in more than a decade among the seven aircraft it plans to eat delivery of by 2011-end.

They include 5 Airbus A320's, such as three brand new aircraft, and 2 Twin Otter float planes.

"We will likely be celebrating an important new chapter during the history of SriLankan Airlines on the arrival of this big number of aircraft within a short period," SriLankan's CEO Manoj Gunawardena today said.

He stated this would permit the airlines to a lot enhance the passenger service. "This will give us the ability to fly to more cities during the Subcontinent, Middle East and Southeast Asia, and to also enhance ability to existing destinations in these regions," he today stated in a statement.

The last time Sri Lanka's National Carrier took delivery of a brand new aircraft was in June 2000, after it received the last of six A330-200's.

The three brand new aircraft are scheduled to be acquired from May-November 2011, and will sport the latest comforts and entertainment systems, such as Audio-Video On Demand (AVOD) in each Organization and Economy Classes.

"These three aircraft would be preceded by 2 other A320's, that are probably to come in December 2010 and early 2011," he said. All 5 aircraft would be on operating leases at quite attractive terms of monthly payments.

In addition, 2 Twin Otters are to be acquired for the re-launch of its domestic support SriLankan Air Taxi this winter.

The airline can be exploring the possibility of obtaining at least another long-haul wide-body aircraft to launch services to more new destinations in Europe and the Far East, Gunawardena said.

"Our fleet expansion plans are usually updated to aid Sri Lanka's swiftly growing tourism industry, even though keeping in mind the financial requirements on the airline," he said.

Sri Lanka's national carrier started a re-fleeting programme shortly after its management changed hands (when Government got the controlling stakes) in April 2008, obtaining three A320's in 2008 and 2009 to replace old aircraft.

A wide-body A330-200 was also added on the fleet 2 months ago. These seven aircraft will join SriLankan's fleet of 13-- three A320's, 5 A330's, and 5 A340's-- with a global network covering 49 cities in 31 countries.

The twin-engined A320's operate to destinations during the Subcontinent, Maldives, Southeast Asia, and parts on the Middle East, even though the A330's and A340's operate on the Middle East, Europe, and the Far East.

Source: The Economic Times

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