Sri Lanka attracts charter flights from Europe | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka attracts charter flights from Europe

TUI Poland tourists being welcomed
TUI Poland tourists being welcomed

October and November 2018 have heralded a new facet to Sri Lanka tourism with the introduction and resumption of three new airlines that will soon service the Sri Lankan route in Asia, increasing connectivity while serving as an impetus for inbound tourism.

TUI Poland, Edelweiss and Aeroflot, the Russian Carrier have already touched down at the Bandaranaike International Airport and were given a warm welcome, with a cultural dance troupe, adding glamour and colour to a momentous occasion.

TUI Poland expands presence

TUI Poland, an airline which belongs to the TUI Group, a leading tourism group consisting of strong tour operators, travel agencies and six airlines with over 150 aircraft arrived on November 7, with around 190 passengers on board.

The ground handling was arranged by Aitken Spence Group Aitken Spence Travels announced that it will be attracting 13 charter flights from Poland this season, with one arriving every 11 days till mid-March 2019.

TUI Poland is expected to operate many flights for the winter season, having 2-3 flights per month on its schedule. A TUI UK flight also arrived at the airport with a flight capacity of 300 passengers, which added more to the growing number of tourists. TUI UK operates from November – April from London, consisting of four flights per month, on a weekly basis.

Edelweiss expands direct flights from Zurich to Colombo

In another historic first, Edelweiss, Switzerland’s leading leisure airline will feature direct flights between Zurich and Colombo this month on. The first flight arrived on November 4, 2018, carrying 314 passengers on Airbus A340 -300.

The flights will operate in the winter from November to May and from October to November next year. The route will be serviced by the Airbus A340-300 which has a seating capacity for 314 passengers. At present, two flights each week from Zurich to Colombo are scheduled till May 5, and is expected to continue.

Aeroflot –Russian Airlines recommences flight

Russia’s Aeroflot SU 287 landed at the Bandaranaike International Airport on October 29 2018, signalling the resumption of direct flights between Colombo and Moscow after a decade long hiatus.

Officials of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Airport Aviation Services and Maldivian Aviation greeted and facilitated their arrival.

Aeroflot will operate five direct flights per week between Colombo and Moscow with the state-of-the-art Airbus A330 aircraft, except on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This move is expected to increase connectivity between the two nations and serve as an impetus for inbound tourism from Russia to Sri Lanka.

The Russian Airline is the flag carrier, the largest airline of the Russian federation, the fourth oldest airline in the world and is a key member of the sky team airline alliance.

It conducts operations to 130 domestic and international destinations deploying a fleet of 243 aircraft.

Year- to -date October, 2018 tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka was at 1.88 million a 10.6% increase year-on year. In spite of the current situation in Sri Lanka, SLTPB is pleased to note that there has been no cancellation of flights, with noticeable forward momentum in arrival of charter flights to Sri Lanka, a media release stated.