Colombo : SriLankan Airlines, in keeping with its strategy of optimising and rationalising market opportunities throughout its route network, will be introducing a range of significant changes to its winter schedule.
The Sri Lankan National Carrier will be deploying state-of-the-art A330-300 aircraft on its daily Melbourne operations from October 28.
The airline said it is pleased to offer its passengers an unmatchable travel experience, with its elegant cabin ambience completed with mood lighting and entertainment featuring over 100 movies, live news and weather updates.
With Wi-Fi connectivity available on-board, passengers also have the luxury of staying connected; making calls or sending mails and browsing.
The airline is also expanding its capacity on the Colombo-Singapore-Colombo route from October 29, with the introduction of wide bodied Airbus A330 aircraft that are equipped to provide modern inflight comforts with the latest inflight entertainment systems, luxurious seating and on-board cuisine that is among the finest in the sky.
The airline's weekly frequencies will be increased to 21 flights per week from the current schedule of 17 flights per week. Out of this, seven flights will be operated by A330-300 aircraft, while the remaining 14 frequencies will be operated by A320/A 321neos. This capacity enhancement is aimed to offer over 2,400 additional seats a week, thus enabling the airline to serve more passengers.
Having re-evaluated its presence in the Far East, the airline is suspending operations to Hong Kong with effect from October 27. This decision has been taken following careful assessment of commercial results over a significant period of time.
The airline will continue to evaluate future opportunities in the Hong Kong region, as it does with all its markets.
Arrangements are being made to route passengers who have already purchased tickets to and from Hong Kong, on other airlines. SriLankan apologises for any inconvenience caused due to changes in flight timings, a statement said.
SriLankan operates a route network of 114 cities in 48 countries from its hub in Colombo, with a fleet of modern aircraft with the latest comforts such as flatbeds in Business Class and sophisticated in-flight entertainment, to complement its world class service.
As a member of the prestigious oneworld global airline alliance, SriLankan also connects its passengers to over 1,000 cities in 160 countries around the globe through its oneworld partner airlines.
Removes nuts after President's rage
Sri Lanka's national airline has recently said it has stopped serving cashews after the country's President flew into a rage over nuts served to him on a flight to Colombo.
"Returning from Kathmandu, I was served some cashews on board a SriLankan flight, but it was so bad even a dog wouldn't eat it," Maithripala Sirisena said recently.
"I want to know who authorised the purchase of these nuts," the President told a meeting of farmers.
An airline spokesman said it has responded by clearing its stock of cashews -- only served in Business Class -- and would change its Dubai-based supplier.
This is not the first time that airline nuts have prompted outrage.
In 2014 a South Korean heiress famously ordered a Korean Air plane back to its gate to eject a cabin crew member after she was served nuts still in their packet.
Last month Colombo renewed its search for an equity investor in the loss-making and heavily indebted SriLankan after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the airline was dragging the country's economy down.
In May last year, attempts to privatise the carrier collapsed after a US private equity firm withdrew its bid for a 49 per cent stake.
The airline was profitable before Mahinda Rajapakse, when he was President, cancelled a management agreement with Emirates in 2008 following a personal dispute.
The carrier had refused to bump fare-paying passengers and give their seats to Rajapakse's family.