SriLankan Airlines Director/CEO Rakhita Jayawardena receiving the APEX award for Superior Achievement in Passenger Experience-Asia Pacific Region from APEX CEO Joe Leader
SriLankan Airlines was awarded the Superior Achievement in Passenger Experience-Asia Pacific Region, at APEX Awards 2015 - what most consider the Oscars of the airline world - held in Oregon, USA.
The global award presented to SriLankan Airlines recognizes a remarkable surge in improvements made to passenger experiences both on-board and on-ground by the airline.
SriLankan Airlines Director/CEO Rakhita Jayawardena was invited to make a special inspirational keynote presentation as the opener to the awards night. He impressed and captivated attendees from airlines the world over with a storied account of his vision for the national carrier.
In his search for a single factor to distinguish SriLankan Airlines from competition, he drew in the strengths of the culture, warmth and hospitable nature of Sri Lankans that would bring value to the airline business and provide the personal touches that are soon disappearing in aviation today.
In the official APEX website - APEX CEO Joe Leader shared his open admiration about the high scores SriLankan Airlines is suddenly getting from the industry and passengers alike and how Jayawardena has managed to cut through the technological noise and bring the focus of passenger comfort back to good, old-fashioned values.
“I was impressed watching him swarmed by attendees,” he said. “For me his presence provided a unique perspective of a carrier that’s serving a region that feels relatively small to other players but acts in very big ways.”
Leader also further stated: “I took away from it the viewpoint of how airlines of any size and scope can raise the bar on passenger experiences as easily as the major players can.”
Attention to the fine details drove the airline to broaden its in-flight IFE content catalog four-fold, to adopt Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity and to enhance its food and beverage offer. SriLankan has embarked on a journey to provide First Class service in Business Class.
After accepting the APEX Award for Superior Achievement in Passenger Experience, Asia Pacific Region, in his chat with APEX Media about the qualities that make a successful airline, Jayawardena likened winning the APEX Award to receiving an Academy Award. “The APEX awards are the Oscars of the industry, this means they are following what we’re doing, seeing what we’re doing and listening to what people are saying.”
“We, at SriLankan Airlines, are on a mission to get this airline from red to black, that as a personal initiative I aggressively and relentlessly pursued,” he said. “This airline has lost a lot of money in the past and our focus for the next three years is to gradually improve our bottom line so that we will be profitable in year three without state funding.