North & West India are highest growth markets for SriLankan Airlines
SriLankan Airlines said its traffic went up 48 per cent from Delhi and 24 per cent from Mumbai “mainly daily due to the capacity additions effected from these stations,” said Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Manager – North & Eastern India, SriLankan Airlines.
The airline has introduced two daily flights from Delhi and Mumbai stations to Colombo last year. “It is genuine leisure traffic which is largely point to point filling up our aircraft from North and West. The load factors are in the range of 85 to 90 per cent from these regions,” he said.
Overall, India is the top source market for tourism for SriLankan Airlines with over 3.8 lakh visiting the island nation last year, which was an 8 per cent growth. Weerasinghe expects the growth to continue in the range of 10 to 15 per cent in coming years as awareness improves in the Northern and Western India markets.
“We carry about 80 per cent of the traffic between India and Sri Lanka now,” he said. The airlines is more focused at consolidation of existing routes in the market rather than introducing new stations or capacities. The airline will be embarking on aggressive consumer campaigns through digital and other channels including radio to promote the destination. Weerasinghe said that while the airline get many of transit passengers to the Middle East from the Southern part of India, from North and West they get quite a number of transit passengers to Australia. “We offer very good connections from and to Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai to Melbourne through Colombo,” he said.