SriLankan Airlines today said it is rationalizing services to China in accordance with current market conditions as per its long-held commercial policies, with a temporary reduction of frequencies to several cities.
While issuing a statement, the airline said this is to better reflect present passenger demand in the wake of a significant reduction in the number of Chinese travellers venturing overseas following the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus epidemic.
“Many airlines have already reduced frequencies to China due to the drop in demand, reasons for which include restrictions by the Government of China on overseas travel of its own citizens. These include four Chinese airlines that operate between Colombo and several Chinese cities,” the statement said.
The airline said market conditions are constantly evaluated as part of SriLankan’s commercial policies and the reductions are effective from February 6, 2020 until March 28, 2020.
SriLankan currently operates services to three cities in China, namely Beijing, Shanghai and Canton. The number of weekly flights to Beijing is being reduced from 4 down to 2; Shanghai from 4 to 2; and Canton from 7 to 3.
SriLankan is deploying the aircraft released from the China flights to increase capacity in other regions, including upgrading of the Colombo-Abu Dhabi sector to a wide-body aircraft, and to advance scheduled heavy maintenance activities on several aircraft.
SriLankan’s route network spans 116 cities in 51 countries. As a member of the oneworld global airline alliance it also connects passengers to over a thousand cities in more than 180 countries and territories through 13 member airlines.