Travel agents endorse all-round luxury of SriLankan Airlines
It was certainly a day for discovery and pleasant experiences for the
cream of Sri Lanka’s travel industry, when national carrier SriLankan
Airlines hosted them to a familiarization of its exclusive array of
products and services recently.
At the Dandugama water aerodrome
More than 20 of the most experienced members of Sri Lanka’s largest
travel agencies spent a full day with the airline, thoroughly enjoying
the best of SriLankan both in the air and on the ground.
An initiative of the Sri Lanka Sales department of SriLankan
Airlines, the event afforded the travel agents a taste of the
traditional warmth and hospitality the airline is famed for when they
visited the Semondu signature restaurant, the Silk Route Lounge for
Business Class passengers at Bandaranaike International Airport,
Serendib Business Class Lounge, Serendiva Transit Hotel, the upgraded
Business Class Cabins and a ride on SriLankan Air Taxi’s float plane.
Trying out the new flat-bed seats in Business Class
SriLankan’s Manager Sri Lanka and Maldives, Saminda Perera,
explained: “SriLankan Airlines has undergone a complete transformation
over the last 12 months in terms of the entire experience that our
passengers receive. We have invested heavily towards giving every
passenger a truly delightful experience.”
“We wanted our partners in the industry who are the top travel agents
of Sri Lanka to experience for themselves the level of sophisticated
service our country’s national carrier now provides. We have a fleet
consisting of more modern aircraft, and our passenger cabins are being
upgraded with flat-bed seating in Business Class and sophisticated new
AVOD entertainment systems. Most importantly, we have brought in a fully
The tour began with the travel agents visiting the recently
commissioned Dandugama Oya water aerodrome to take off on a scenic
flight on SriLankan Air-taxi, to experience the breathtaking aerial view
of the landscape and also see first-hand how float plane operations can
benefit tourism and afford convenient inland travel.
Travel agents relax in the Silk Route Lounge at BIA
The Air Taxi provides quick transfers to 15 domestic destinations
from Dandugama which is located in close proximity to the Bandaranaike
The travel agents were particularly impressed with the Silk Route
Lounge at the Bandaranaike International Airport managed by Airport &
Aviation Authority (AASL) and were glad to learn of this new service
which ensures business class passengers no longer need to go into the
main terminal and stand in queues, but walk straight in to this lounge
where all their travel needs are taken care of with a personal touch by
AASL and SriLankan airlines staff while they sit in comfortable lounge
The group also visited SriLankans’ plush Serendib Lounge, available
free to all of SriLankan Airlines’ Business Class passengers. Equipped
with state of the art facilities and comforts, the Serendib Lounge is
comparable to top airport lounges in the world.
Another port of call at the airport was the Serenediva Transit Hotel,
managed by SriLankan Catering. This 24-roomed hotel on the upper floor
of the BIA terminal is designed to provide rest and relaxation for
passengers as they await their onward flight. Its facilities include
deluxe and standard rooms and Conference Centre.
A sumptuous business class meal service on board a SriLankan Airbus
A330 aircraft parked on the apron was the perfect ending to an eventful
day for the travel agents, whilst being pampered by a team of friendly
cabin staff in the comfort and luxury of the aircrafts’ upgraded
business class cabin, giving a feel of the real in-flight experience
with the national carrier.
Some of the quotes from the travel agents :“A day well spent
learning the new features and additions to the ‘SriLankan’ product, this
visit was truly worthwhile”.
- Faris Deen, Gabo Travels “I loved flying on the SriLankan
Air Taxi which was a truly unique experience and this entire tour has
been very well organized. SriLankan has taken a lot of care over it.”
-Sonali Liyanamana, Chief Operating Officer -Mackinnons American
Express Travel “SriLankan Air Taxi service and also its Silk Route
facility for all Business Class travelers, are both excellent products.”
- Riza Ahamat, Director / General Manager of Hemas Travels
“SriLankan should organize more such tours for other members of the
travel community, including younger staff who need to be familiar with
the product to better promote the airline.”
- V. Yogarajan, Chief Operating Officer- Mackinnons American
Express Travel “SriLankan has come a very long way and really means
“Business” on their “Business Class”, their product is one of the best
you can find.”
-Dino De Fonseka, CEO- UNIGLOBE Leisure World Travel.
Kingfisher Airlines Q1 losses double
Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines on Saturday said quarterly losses
more than doubled from a year earlier, fuelling fresh doubts about the
future of the private Indian carrier.
An Indian labourer watches a Kingfisher Airline flight take
off from the city airport in Mumbai. AFP
Kingfisher's net loss widened to 6.60 billion rupees ($120 million)
in the financial quarter to June from a loss of 2.63 billion rupees in
the same period last year, as revenues slumped due to reduced
operations. “The company has suffered substantial losses and its net
worth has been eroded,” the airline said in its earnings statement.
But Kingfisher -- which has never posted a profit since its launch in
2005 -- said it still hoped to “get recapitalised” and added it was “in
discussion with several strategic and financial investors to bring in
The company, which is carrying a $1.4 billion debt load, did not
identify the potential investors.
The airline, controlled by Indian liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, blamed
the latest loss on “high fuel costs, high interest rates, depreciation
of the rupee and expenses due to the return of aircraft to lessors.”
Emirates now flies to Phuket
Phuket, the biggest island in Thailand, located in the
Andaman Sea, will become Emirates’ second destination in
Thailand from December 10, 2012.
Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, continue its
network expansion with the announcement of the start of daily services
to Phuket in Thailand.
Phuket, the largest island in Thailand located in the Andaman Sea,
will, from December 10, become Emirates’ second destination in Thailand.
“Emirates is looking forward to the launch of our non-stop, daily
service to Phuket, which will be just in time for the holiday season. We
have always had a strong affiliation with Thailand and have been
operating flights to Bangkok since 1990,” said Tim Clark, President
“Thailand is an important market for Emirates, we currently operate
four daily flights between Dubai and Bangkok, including one with our
Airbus A380 aircraft. We are confident that Phuket will prove a popular
destination for our passengers, especially those from the UAE, Middle
East and Europe,” added Clark.
Phuket will become the 15th route launch for the airline this year
and the second in South East Asia following on from Ho Chi Minh City in
June.With a fleet of 178 aircraft and already the largest A380 operator
in the world, with 22 in service, Emirates currently flies to 125
destinations in 74 countries.
Singapore Airlines 1 Q net profit up 73%
Singapore Airlines’ first quarter net profit soared 73 percent from
last year, it said Wednesday, partly driven by higher passenger traffic.
But the growth statistic was magnified by a low profit figure for the
corresponding period in 2011, when it was hit by higher fuel costs and
soft demand due to the earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan.
The carrier, considered a bellwether for the full-service airline
industry, said net profit came in at Sg$78 million ($62 million) for the
quarter to June 2012, compared with Sg$45 million last year, and was in
line with analysts’ expectations.
Group revenue advanced six percent to Sg$3.78 billion, while
expenditure climbed four percent to Sg$3.71 billion. SIA shares closed
at Sg$10.69 apiece at the stock market before the report was released.
Earnings were boosted by a rise in passenger volumes as it offered a
host of promotions to bolster loads amid intense competition and a weak
global economy, the airline said in a statement.
But it painted a gloomy outlook for the rest of the year in a
“difficult environment”, with the price of jet fuel -- which accounts
for 40 percent of total expenditure -- still near historical highs
“The global economy remains uncertain as Europe struggles to contain
its debt crisis, while the United States faces a sluggish recovery,”
said the airline, which analysts said gets over half of its earnings
from premium passengers.
“This has negatively impacted business confidence and the outlook for
travel demand. Promotional efforts undertaken to boost carriage add
downward pressure on yields, especially in Europe and the United
States,” it added.
SIA said the cargo business also remained under pressure, with
forward indicators signalling weaker demand.
SIA is facing stiffer competition from emerging full-service carriers
like those from the Middle East -- which have narrowed the gap in
in-flight services at lower ticket prices -- as well as from the
increasingly popular budget airlines plying regional routes.
“Going forward, it is going to be tough,” said Shukor Yusof, an
analyst with Standard and Poor's Equity Research.