The Colombo-Melbourne daily direct flight operated by SriLankan Airlines has broken even and is making profits now, the airline said in a statement yesterday.
“The route has already registered a profit within a short period of less than six months, demonstrating its potential as one of the fastest break-even and profit-making routes in the airline’s network,” SriLankan said.
Despite Australia being home to a large Sri Lankan diaspora and student community, passenger arrivals to Sri Lanka have been on the decline in 2017. One of the prime reasons for this was the lack of direct flights from Colombo to Australia.
“This status quo was improved by SriLankan Airlines’ strategic launch of its direct daily flights from Colombo to Melbourne last year,” the airline said.
SriLankan also said that there has been a tangible upward surge in tourist arrivals from Australia since the month of October 2017, when the direct flight was launched.
“Arrivals rose by as much as 26% during the launch month and progressively since. A month prior to the launch, tourists arrivals from Australia were recording negative growth,” SriLankan said.
Commenting on the performance, SriLankan CEO Suren Ratwatte said, “We are delighted to fulfil a long-felt need for a direct flight from Colombo to Melbourne. The tireless efforts of the airline’s marketing and commercial teams have made a significant contribution to this success.”
“Following the success of this strategic decision, we will explore opportunities, for example, between Colombo and Sydney and other destinations in Australia,” he added.