Russian airline, Aeroflot, will re-launch regular non-stop flights to Colombo from October 28, the Moscow-based airline announced this week.
The airline stopped regular flights to Colombo around a decade ago.
The flights will operate under the winter schedule effective through March 30, 2019.
Flight SU 0286 will depart Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 22:05 and arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) at 9:05. The return flight SU 0287 will depart Colombo on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 10:45, and arrive at Sheremetyevo at 17:30.
Aeroflot said it would operate an Airbus A330 on this route.
The nine-hour flight is expected to boost inbound tourism from Russia to Sri Lanka as it will obviate the need for transit in a third country. Aeroflot, which means ‘Air Fleet’, is the fourth oldest airline in the world, having started operations in July 1923.
A key member of the SkyTeam airline alliance, it flies to 130 domestic and international destinations using a fleet of 243 aircraft with 28 more on firm order from Airbus and Boeing.
Aeroflot, which has several subsidiary airlines and aviation companies, also operates the Russian-made Sukhoi Super Jets.
Incidentally, KLM, the world’s oldest commercial airline (since 1919) has also re-started flights to Sri Lanka.
Among the other airlines planning to launch regular services to Sri Lanka in the next two months are Edelweiss (Switzerland) and Vistara (India).
Several other major foreign airlines have also expressed an interest in flying to Sri Lanka while many existing operators have added extra capacity via bigger aircraft and/or more flight frequencies.