By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW): As Sri Lanka is witnessing a week-on-week increase in tourist arrival from China, more flights will be added in the coming months between the two countries.
The flag carrier of the People’s Republic of China, Air China, affirmed this week it would resume operations to Sri Lanka starting July.
According to Tourism Minister Harin Fernando, Air China has committed it would operate three flights to Sri Lanka. Fernando took to twitter to share in brief an update in this regard.He added that the flight frequency would further be increased in the coming months.
The industry stakeholders welcomed the move, stating that the increased number of flights will help lure more travellers from China.
“It is a good move. It is a much-needed move. It augurs well for the industry. We needed that capacity to cater to the demand from China,” said the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators.
At present, national carrier SriLankan Airlines operates a weekly service to Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.
China’s National Health Commission announced in December that the inbound travellers will no longer have to go into quarantine and there will be no official restriction on Chinese people going abroad.
Following the scrapping of the ‘Zero Covid-19’ policy, Sri Lanka welcomed the first group of Chinese tourists in March 2.
Since then, tourist arrivals from that country are on a steady increase. China even ranks among the top 10 key source markets for destination Sri Lanka in April, where it stood in the sixth position, moving from the 11th position in March.
For the January 1 to May 7 period, China stands as the ninth largest tourist traffic generator for Sri Lanka, contributing to 3 percent of the total tourist arrivals (11,553).
Meanwhile Batik Air (formerly known as Malindo Air) has announced that all bookings are open for its new reinstated services between Colombo and Kuala Lumpur. Daily flights to Kuala Lumpur are now in operation.
It will be mounting some of their new flight services on their brand-new Boeing 737-800 aircraft and all their fares are inclusive of 20-kg baggage allowance. Passengers will have the option to pre-purchase and also purchase meals on-board.
Malindo Air, a Malaysian-based regional airline, was officially rebranded as Batik Air when the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) granted a new Air Operators Certificate (AOC) to Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd to do business as Batik Air (dba Batik Air) with effect from 28 April 2022.
The rebranding exercise is in line with the Lion Group’s goal to establish a common identity for the full-service airlines within the group. With the approval in place, it allows Batik Air to conduct improved business for seamless transfers, leveraging Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) as a transit hub for the Lion Group of airlines.
Batik Air is a Malaysian-based airline with main hubs at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Subang Skypark, the convenient KL downtown city airport in Selangor, Malaysia.
Batik Air is offering a special all-inclusive Economy Class Return Fare from Colombo to Kuala Lumpur and from Kuala Lumpur to Colombo at Rs. 78,500.
Its scheduled flights from Colombo to Kuala Lumpur daily: (CMB/KUL – 00:35/06:55 & KUL/CMB 17:25/18:25).