INDIA & MIDDLE EAST: Sri Lankan Air slashes India capacity

Sri Lankan Airlines has slashed flights to India from 100 a week to 51, as part of a cost-cutting strategy and re-aligning of services to conserve cash and maximise yields, the carrier’s CEO Manoj Gunawardena said recently. Cochin, Calicut, Coimbatore and Hyderabad – which primarily carried traffi c between the Middle East and the Far […]


Sri Lankan Airlines has slashed flights to India from 100 a week to 51, as part of a cost-cutting strategy and re-aligning of services to conserve cash and maximise yields, the carrier’s CEO Manoj Gunawardena said recently.

Cochin, Calicut, Coimbatore and Hyderabad – which primarily carried traffi c between the Middle East and the Far East – were dropped from the carrier’s network while Indian destinations generating traffic to and from Sri Lanka have been maintained. Competition on Indian routes has become “cut throat”, Gunawardena added.

The first of Sri Lankan’s new A320 aircraft came into service in January 2009 with another undergoing final checks and the lease of a third A320 now being finalised. The carrier has five A340s and four A330s for long haul routes.

Gunawardena said passenger traffic on Far East routes is the weakest and added while passenger traffic dipped by single digits, cargo has taken a double digit drop.

“In this region alone air freight has dropped by almost 25 per cent. And even in Sri Lanka there is a noticeable reduction in import and export cargo.”