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SriLankan Airlines reports profits, flight expansions and increased frequency

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SriLankan Airlines recorded its first profitable fourth quarter (Q4) since 2006 for the financial year that ended on 31 March 2022 with a group net profit despite pandemic challenges. The airline was able to achieve a financial turnaround through various measures in its 2021-22 financial year including scaling down staff costs and overheads; renegotiating supplier contracts; increasing cargo revenue; and creating an ambitious growth plan capitalizing on pent-up travel demand. The initiatives paid off, with SriLankan making its first monthly profit since the onset of COVID-19 in December 2021 and continuing with a profit in the final quarter. The airline has now accumulated over USD 12 million in profits over the last 4 months as traffic has returned after the pandemic. This was announced by Dimuthu Tennakoon, Head of Worldwide Sales and Distribution at SriLankan Airlines, while interacting with media at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

SriLankan Airlines reports profits, flight expansions and increased frequencySriLankan’s expansion initiative saw the launch of flights to several new destinations in the last year including Seoul; Moscow; Kathmandu and Paris. Frequencies were also gradually increased across the airline’s network in line with the recovery of the global travel industry and demand. The airline has also carried out major campaigns to boost tourism to the country. These include a major initiative in India, roadshows supporting new routes and most recently sponsoring the popular French annual adventure trail, Raid Amazones, in March of this year. The airline is now back to 75 per cent of the passenger revenue it made pre-pandemic in Q4 of 2019-20. As a result, passenger numbers also rose to near 700,000 for the quarter. The airline is making strong headway towards matching pre-pandemic levels as demand for international travel recovers.

The payoff is not limited to the airline, as it remains by far the largest carrier of tourists into Sri Lanka. SriLankan is also a net foreign currency earner for the country owing to a sizeable share of its revenue being generated from international markets. Commenting on plans for the Indian market, Tennakoon noted that SriLankan Airlines has geared up for a busy Summer 2022 by increasing the number of scheduled flights by 40 per cent to match pre-pandemic levels and meet the growing demand for air travel as the industry continues to recover. The frequency increases will come into effect across SriLankan’s network of online destinations with the start of the airline’s summer flight schedule. The new schedule will facilitate smoother operations for the airline and offer customers greater flexibility, convenience and connectivity. India recently reopened their skies for commercial passenger flights after two years of closure. In celebration of this encouraging development, SriLankan will be nearly doubling the number of weekly flights to India to over 100. Other planned frequency increases to cities in the Indian Subcontinent include the operation of an extra weekly flight each to Gan, Maldives and Lahore, Pakistan.

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