Muscat: With growing trade and tourism links between the Sultanate and Sri Lanka, SriLankan Airlines, is to introduce daily flights between Muscat and Colombo.
Siva Ramachandran, chief commercial officer, SriLankan Airlines, said that the daily flights are planned from April/May this year.
“Currently, we are flying five times a week. But from this summer we will be flying seven times a week as we want to give our passengers increased connectivity,” Ramachandran said, on a visit to Muscat on Thursday.
“Through the increase in frequencies, we extend Oman the invitation to travel to Sri Lanka, to find the ideal holiday getaway or investment opportunity. With the latest addition, SriLankan Airlines also offers a convenient solution to the passengers travelling to India and Far East destinations,” he said.
More than 16,000 Omanis visited Sri Lanka in 2016.
SriLankan Airlines came into Muscat after its sister airline, Mihin Lanka ceased operations on this route from October 2016.
“Mihin Lanka was running up huge losses, so the Government of Sri Lanka decided to cease its operations,” Ramachandran said. Mihin Lanka started flights to Muscat on October 25, 2015, with four weekly flights, raising the frequency later to daily. It ferried more than 40,000 people in the last one year.
Deepal Pallegangoda, country manager of SriLankan Airlines in Muscat, said, “Sri Lanka is increasingly becoming one of the most sought-after destinations among the Omani tourists who view the island as an ideal family holiday getaway for relaxing and recuperating. We are hoping to carry more passengers in 2017.”
“With the beckoning blue beaches and inherent hospitality that runs deep in the islanders’ blood, Sri Lanka today has become one of the most frequented tourist destinations in Asia, which caters to tourists with diverse travel needs,” Pallegangoda added.