Trade delighted as KLM resumes Sri Lanka

KLM to resume services to the once war-torn country
Travel agents in Sri Lanka are “overjoyed” as KLM prepares to resume direct services to the once war-torn country after a near 20-year absence.
KLM announced this week that it would launch twice-weekly flights on October 31, departing Amsterdam Schiphol aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with 30 seats in World Business Class, 48 seats in Economy Comfort and 216 seats in Economy.
After pulling out of Colombo in 1997 due to the escalating conflict on the island, until now the airline has only provided services to Sri Lanka via Abu Dhabi.
“I am excited by the return of KLM. This is massive boost to Sri Lankan tourism particularly for the European and north American sector,” enthused Ahintha Amerasinghe, managing director at Worldlink Travels.
He speculated that the industry may also benefit from increased traffic from South America, where KLM has a strong presence.
Sunil Peiris, director at Jetwing Travels, said that a strong carrier like KLM would be a tremendous boost for Europe as a source market given how SriLankan Airlines and Austrian Airlines are the only carriers currently providing direct connections from there.
“It will enhance the value of Sri Lanka and encourage more carriers to fly to Colombo,” he said.
KLM says it expects positive demand, noting how Sri Lanka’s per capita income has doubled in the past 10 years and that the island is a popular tropical leisure destination for Europeans.
TTG Asia