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    SriLankan Airlines launches new A330-300 with a Non-Stop service to London

    November 10, 2014

    National carrier, SriLankan Airlines began commercial operations on its newly acquired Airbus 330-300 with a direct non-stop service to London on yesterday (09).

    SriLankan Airlines flight UL505 departed from Katunayake at 02.25 am local time on yesterday en-route to London Heathrow airport, returning to Colombo at 04.40 am on today (10).

    The brand new A330-300, the first of seven such aircraft on order from Airbus was inducted to SriLankan’s fleet last month, launching its wide body fleet renewal and replacement programme with the aim of reducing costs, improving operational efficiencies and providing an enhanced product offering to customers.

     

    Chief Operations Officer, SriLankan Airlines Captain Druvi Perera said, “We have begun commercial flights with our new Airbus 330-300 aircraft, with a view to deploying it on a number of medium and long-haul routes as part of a performance evaluation process that is implemented by the airline for induction of new aircraft to its fleet. The first of such flights was operated by the new A330-300 with a non-stop service to London on Sunday, one of our oldest traditional markets. The performance evaluation programme will continue for a period of three months during which the deployment of the aircraft on a particular route will be decided after an evaluation of passenger volumes, route yields, demand for Business Class, frequency and consistency of the product and the number of aircraft required to support the frequencies to a particular destination.

     

    “We will deploy the new A330-300s primarily on Far-Eastern routes including Bangkok, Tokyo and Chinese cities of Canton and Beijing.”

     

    Capt. Druvi Perera further stated: “We will see a ramp up in our delivery programme with the arrival of our second A330-300 this December and the balance new A330-300s to be inducted in 2015, with these aircraft to be assigned for mainstream long-haul operations, replacing the older A340s in the interim. The new generation A350-900s due to join our fleet from mid- 2016 will eventually take over our long haul routes and the A330-300s will consequently be deployed on the medium haul operations.

     

    “Our new fleet of versatile A330-300s with its superior Inflight features and comfort and enhanced fuel efficiency will serve to meet our capacity requirements in the medium and long haul routes prior to the delivery of the new generation wide body A350-900s on order. These new Airbus aircraft share an operational commonality with our existing fleet and therefore provide us with a strong platform for our continued growth.”

     

    The salient cockpit and operational commonality of Airbus aircraft permits airlines to use the same pool of pilots, maintenance engineers and cabin crews, bringing operational flexibility, accruing significant cost savings.

     

    Affording optimum levels of comfort in the aircraft cabin, the A330-300 has configured its layout seating 297 passengers in two classes accommodating 28 in Business Class and 269 in Economy.

     

    The new aircraft also boasts of state- of-the- art cabin features that redefine the flying experience for passengers in both Business class and Economy class on SriLankan Airlines, introducing out-standing innovations in Inflight entertainment (IFE) systems with Thales Avant Audio-Video on Demand (AVOD) and Ambient lighting across both cabins, Wi-Fi Connectivity features and Ultra comfort in seating.

     

    SriLankan will commence thrice weekly frequencies to Kunming in China from December 01st with possible operations to Melbourne and Africa in 2015 under review.

     

    SriLankan Airlines aims to achieve commercial viability through improved revenues and yields with its fleet renewal programme playing a pivotal role and the gradual phase-out of its older fleet of wide body A340s and A330-200s over the next two years, to be replaced by the new A330-300s and A350-900s, and positioning itself to being a catalyst for Sri Lanka’s growth as an Aviation hub in the region. (HC/SDF)

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