Winners with Singapore Airlines officials
Pic by Waruna Wanniarachchi
By Zahara Zuhair
To recognize the best-performing partners, Singapore Airlines (SIA) Top Agent Awards 2015/16 was held in Colombo recently, which saw George Steuarts Travel International Ltd walking away with the Gold award for the fourth consecutive time.
The Silver and Bronze awards were won by Classic Travel (Pvt.) Ltd and Gabo Travels (Pvt.) Ltd, respectively. SIA said that in Sri Lanka, from this April, they would be operating SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, three times a week during morning hours. The new service to Colombo is expected to be scheduled on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Last year SIA increased its flight frequency from seven to 10 to Sri Lanka.
SIA West Asia Africa Regional Vice President Joey Seow said that Sri Lanka is a very important market for them and they are looking forward to further grow in Sri Lanka. “There were tremendous growth opportunities in Sri Lanka over the last five years after the war. The incomes are visible, I observed more people at hotels; more people are coming. Singapore Airlines will further grow in the Sri Lankan market,” he said. “We will come out with products and services relevant to the market as well as with more destinations; will do more business in Sri Lanka. Incomes will grow in Sri Lanka with development projects such as Shangri-La being carried out,” he added.
Aitken Spence Aviation Chairman J.M.S. Brilo said that despite the arrivals of the newcomers the main reason for SIA’s success is its loyal customers and agents.
He also said SIA is one of the airlines that has a long history with Sri Lanka, even operating during difficult times.
SIA Sri Lanka General Manager Richard Kwee said that last year was a challenging year but in the second half of the year they did better. Meantime, the Merit awards were won by Hemas Travels (Pvt.) Ltd, Mackinnons Travel (Pvt.) Ltd, Metro Travels and Tours (Pvt.) Ltd, BG Air Services (Pvt.) Ltd, World Link Travels (Pvt.) Ltd and The Traveller Global (Pvt.) Ltd.
Aitken Spence has been one of the general sales agents (GSA) for SIA for more than 30 years, where they handle both passenger and cargo operations for the airline.