SriLankan Airlines commenced its operations to Delhi in June 1993. This makes the airlines one of the longest standing airline operators to Delhi with 25 years of continuous operations. Initially starting its operation with two weekly flights, the company has expanded its services to two daily flights. STIC travels has been the company’s long-standing GSA partner, since its inception in 1979. STIC travels has been partnering with SriLankan Airlines right from 1974, when the national carrier of Sri Lanka was known as Air Ceylon.
At present SriLankan Airlines flies from 13 destinations mainly Australia, Singapore, Japan, China, the Middle East and the UK with 122 flights a week, making it the largest international airline company operating to India in terms of the number of destinations. Reaffirming its strong presence in India, the company was crowned the World’s Best Airline to Indian Ocean and Asia’s Best Airline to Indian Ocean at the prestigious World Travel Awards, 2017.
Majority of traffic on SriLankan Airlines consists of FIT leisure tours to Sri Lanka. However, the company has been witnessing a progressive growth in group travel in terms of MICE, pilgrim tours and destination weddings. MICE arrivals now account to more than 15% of all arrivals on a pan-Indian basis that is mainly handled from Delhi and Mumbai, as most corporate head offices are based in these cities. MICE groups prefer Sri Lanka due to its proximity to India and also due to multiple gateways easing the handling of a pan-India movement of travellers.
In terms of pilgrim movements, Ramayana tours have become very popular and many operators are conducting back-to-back series departures. The latest trend for traffic has been destination weddings in Sri Lanka. The airline this year looks forward working closely together with STIC travels and Sri Lanka Tourism to further increase the numbers from India to Sri Lanka.