By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW): Even amidst recent complaints of flight delays, ground staff and pilot shortages ,Sri Lankan Airlines was crowned the Leading International Airline – South Asia at the South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) in Bangalore, India on 10 October 2023.
Sri Lankan further secured the title of Leading Airline Class – Business Class at the awards ceremony. Touted as the most prestigious travel industry awards in the region, SATA recognizes the most outstanding performers in South Asia’s hospitality and travel industry annually based on the votes of industry professionals and passengers.
Having also received the accolade of ‘Visitors Choice – Airline of the Year’ at last year’s SATA, SriLankan Airlines continues to prove its enviable position in South Asia with this year’s dual wins. SriLankan currently operates 140 flights between Colombo and multiple South Asian cities across India, the Maldives, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal on a weekly basis.
SriLankan Airlines Regional Manager India, Bangladesh & Nepal V. Ravindran said: “We are profoundly happy to have our efforts valued by our South Asian associates. This region has been key to our progress and represents a significant percentage of SriLankan Airlines’ operations.
Being recognized inspires us to remain and grow as a trailblazer in South Asia and give our customers the best in Sri Lankan service and connectivity as we move forward into the future.”
The airline’s extensive South Asian network covers key points pan India including Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi; Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan; Kathmandu in Nepal; and Dhaka in Bangladesh.
SriLankan Airlines is moreover the only international carrier to operate to both Male and Gan Island in the Maldives to date, making it a preferred choice of passengers heading from Europe, the Middle East, India and the Far East to the picturesque Maldives.
However SriLankan Airlines is likely to face a severe shortage of experienced staff as the State-Owned Enterprise has refused to increase its salaries and other remuneration to discourage many from leaving,
It is reliably learnt that around 30 pilots have tendered their resignations over the past several months, with other employees including those from ground handling, engineering, and air crew leaving at an alarming rate, posing challenges for sustaining operations and the airline’s survival.
The Government is waiting for the airline’s restructuring, which is currently underway. It is also expecting interest from possible investors, pre-restructuring.