SriLankan Airlines to commence services to Moscow

SriLankan Airlines to commence services to Moscow

May 9, 2011   11:31 am

SriLankan Airlines will commence a new service to Moscow on 15th September, making the Russian capital, the 52nd destination of the airline.

The new service will operate via Dubai, and will commence initially with two flights per week on Thursdays and Saturdays.
SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of services to Moscow. This will be the first time in history that our national carrier has served Russia, and will no doubt serve to greatly strengthen the close relationship between our two nations.”

SriLankan Airlines has been expanding steadily over the past several months, and launched services to Shanghai last July, Guangzhou in January, and Kochi in March. It will acquire at least six aircraft this year and has been increasing capacity throughout its global route network since last December. The new aircraft will include state-of-the-art Audio Video On Demand (AVOD) entertainment systems.

Tourism to Sri Lanka has been booming since the dawn of permanent peace in the Indian Ocean island two years ago. Tourist arrivals grew by 34% in the first quarter of 2011, after setting an all time record of 654,000 in 2010.

Sri Lanka offers excellent value for money for leisure travelers – especially those from Europe - with hundreds of miles of golden beaches, mist-swathed mountains, ancient cultural sites, and bargain shopping. The airline recently re-launched its domestic service SriLankan Air Taxi, making many parts of the island accessible within an hour on its floatplanes.

Tourist arrivals from Russia grew by 21% in the first quarter of 2010, and by 22% from other countries in Eastern Europe. The airline already serves five European cities – London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome and Milan – with plans to commence services to several more.

Asia is fast becoming a favourite destination for travelers from Russia, the world’s fastest growing outbound tourist market. According to the World Tourism & Travel Council, Russia is well placed to become one of the world’s travel and tourism powerhouses by 2016.

SriLankan is also largest carrier into Maldives, which is another firm favourite among Russian travelers. SriLankan operates six flights per day into Male, which is just over an hour’s flying time from Colombo. The new service would also be useful for the significant number of Sri Lankans studying in Russian universities.h

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