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Sri Lankan Airlines plans more flights from India

Rasheed Kappan

BANGALORE: Buoyed by the growing passenger volumes from Bangalore, which currently exceed 3,000 a month, Sri Lankan Airlines proposes to further increase its passenger capacity from the existing 10 Indian destinations to different cities worldwide.

With an average cabin factor of 75 per cent, the airlines connects Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Trichy, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Gaya to international locations such as Bangkok, Beijing, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Colombo is the hub for all these flights.

The airlines flies from Bangalore seven times a week. While there are daily flights from Mumbai and New Delhi, the airlines operates seasonal flights to Gaya. Fifteen flights operate out of Chennai and 10 from Trichy in Tamil Nadu.

The airlines has a big presence in Kerala with 10 flights from Kochi, 12 from Thiruvananthapuram and nine from Kozhikode. In all, there are 84 daily departures from Indian destinations every day.

Passenger volumes from Bangalore have been on the increase, despite competition from other airlines. Sri Lankan Airlines had started with 96 per cent cabin factor, as Colombo is the shortest international destination. The inaugural return fare of Rs. 10,500, including a three-night stay in the Sri Lankan capital, was a big attraction for the Indian traveller.

Bangalore's emergence as the IT hub has triggered a big jump in the number of corporate business passengers.

All airlines are looking for a share of this growing clientele. Over 20 per cent of the passengers on the Bangalore to London Sri Lankan Airlines flights are corporate businessmen.

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