Sri Lanka key market to World’s best low cost airline, AirAsia | Daily News


Sri Lanka key market to World’s best low cost airline, AirAsia

Kuala Lumpur based AirAsia Berhad redefined the low cost carrier model in 2001 and has since gone on to be the benchmark for air travel in the world. With its ‘Now everyone can fly’ tagline, AirAsia has made inroads into Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and India with localized operations and flies to over 130 destinations across 26 countries.

A consistent push to improve operational efficiencies and adopting automation through innovation, like the online booking, self-check-in, self-bag-drop and more, has enabled the airline to offer some of the lowest rates for air travel anywhere in the world with a world-class experience.

In Sri Lanka, the attractive fares and seasonal AirAsia online sale with flight fares from as low as Lankan rupees 9999 all in one ways, has ensured the low cost carrier is top of mind when travelling east. Increasing demand from the local market and the expansion of its network has now prompted the airline to double its frequency into Colombo which now operates a twice daily schedule. We caught up with Spencer Lee, Head of Commercial for AirAsia Berhad for some insights into the airlines operations and plans here.

There is a significant demand for the three to four day holiday package in Sri Lanka and short haul direct flight destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong and even the Maldives are popular choices because they require minimum travel time and offer great value for money.

With AirAsia, the Sri Lankan traveller currently has access to a wide network and connectivity across 14 countries in Asia, Australia and even the US, with a total of 41 routes via Kuala Lumpur thanks to our Fly-Thru service. What this offering does is to connect travellers to other flights from Kuala Lumpur with their baggage checked-through to the final destination without the hassle of immigration clearance at the transit hub.

Sri Lanka has a good potential in terms of feeder traffic for travellers that has seen a large portfolio of nationalities flown to and from Sri Lanka, boosted further thanks to the Fly-Thru offering.

Surprisingly, the beauty of Sri Lanka has been well-received from travellers from China as they mark the top nationality flown on AirAsia. This can be attributed to the connection between Sri Lanka and North Asia where the airline links the former to a total of 16 destinations such as Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Wuhan, and more.

Among the travellers flown aside from China, include guests from Asean, Japan, Europe, UK and the US. Not only does the Fly-Thru service contribute to a diverse tourist inflow, more importantly, it also presents opportunities for the people of Sri Lanka to experience the various destinations that we fly to.

We do see the potential of growing Sri Lanka’s tourism market which is why we are exploring to set up a commercial team to further develop the market here for the year ahead.

For Sri Lanka, now, we are focusing on our existing route, Colombo; however we are always open to expanding our services when the opportunity arises.

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