SRI LANKA: SriLankan boosts capacity to 9 ME destinations

SriLankan Airlines has added more flights to the Middle East as the country tries to woo more tourists from the region. With this initiative, SriLankan will have 37 weekly connections to nine cities in the Middle East – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Doha, Muscat, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait. Additional flights are to three cities […]


SriLankan Airlines has added more flights to the Middle East as the country tries to woo more tourists from the region.

With this initiative, SriLankan will have 37 weekly connections to nine cities in the Middle East – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Doha, Muscat, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait. Additional flights are to three cities – Doha which increases from the present 4 flights up to 6; Bahrain which goes from 5 to 7; and Dammam which will have 3 flights, up from the present two.

The Sri Lankan government has identified the Middle East as one of four major thrust markets to Sri Lanka, and has launched a series of marketing campaigns to raise awareness of the island’s attractions, the carrier said in a statement. There has been an 80 per cent increase in Middle Eastern tourist arrivals during the first quarter of 2008.

“We are strengthening our Middle East network, as there has been a significant increase in demand for flights in the region, and we see a lot of potential for growth,” said Mohamed Fazeel, regional manager Middle East, Africa and CIS. “Our focus is on leisure travelers, and airline’s leisure arm SriLankan Holidays has unveiled several packages to cater especially to Middle Eastern tourists who want to visit Sri Lanka.”