SriLankan Milan to Colombo direct flights
SriLankan Airlines will launch a new twice-weekly direct service from
Milan to Colombo on December 16, to enhance Italian tourism into Sri
Lanka and serve the sizable Sri Lankan community in northern Italy.
The new service will support the efforts of the Government to
encourage Sri Lankan expatriates residing overseas to visit their native
land following the dawn of peace. Apart from northern Italy, it will
also serve travellers in neighbouring regions such as the south of
France and southern Switzerland.
SriLankan Chairman Nishanta Wickremasinghe said: "SriLankan Airlines
firmly believes that its responsibilities as the national carrier are of
paramount importance and we are launching this service after considering
the requests of the Sri Lankan community in the region and carefully
studying the tourism potential as well."
Milan is Italy's second largest city with its metropolitan area
having a population of 7.4 million. It is considered one of the major
financial centres in Europe. The national carrier launched services to
Rome last December, which serves the southern and central regions of
Italy and will continue to fly twice-weekly to the Italian capital.
Major tourism markets, including those in Europe, are expected to
relax their travel advisories for Sri Lanka with the dawn of peace and
the National Carrier is supporting efforts to enhance awareness of Sri
Lanka as a destination of choice through a number of marketing
campaigns. SriLankan is also working with the Sri Lanka Tourism
Promotions Bureau and the country's travel industry. The Milan service
will also offer one-stop flights via Colombo to such popular Far Eastern
destinations as Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Tokyo and
Beijing, plus six cities in India and also the Maldives which is a
favourite holiday destination of Italian tourists. With the addition of
Milan, SriLankan will expand its route network to 44 destinations in 29
countries across Europe, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, the
Far East and North America. SriLankan briefly served Milan in 2000/2001.
Despite the worldwide slowdown in air travel due to the global
economic meltdown, SriLankan is continuing to strengthen its route
network by launching services to selected destinations and by
strengthening its codeshare network with partner airlines. Just two
months ago SriLankan expanded its network to Los Angeles, Sydney,
Melbourne, Jakarta and Seoul through an enhanced partnership with
Malaysia Airlines. Last October, SriLankan expanded its partnership with
Etihad to cover Geneva, Dublin, Munich, Brussels, Manchester and Amman.
The Milan flights, on modern Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft, will
operate on Wednesday and Saturday. Wednesday's flight UL565 will operate
on the route Colombo-Paris-Milan-Colombo, while Saturday's flight UL 555
will fly Colombo-Frankfurt-Milan-Colombo. Every seat on SriLankan's
widebodied fleet has a Touch Screen Entertainment System with over 40
Movie, Television and Radio channels and 16 Interactive Games. Business
Class travellers can also choose from a selection of latest and classic
movies in the on-board video library.