Kunming Airport celebrated the arrival of SriLankan Airlines’ new service from Colombo very early on Tuesday 2 December. The flight had departed Sri Lanka late on Monday 1 December, becoming the oneworld carrier’s fifth destination in China. Celebrating the launch at the airport were Qilong Guo, Deputy Director, Airport Marketing Department, Kunming International Airport and Lal Perera, Head of Worldwide Sales, SriLankan Airlines.
- SriLankan Airlines has begun serving Kunming (KMG), its fifth destination in China. On 1 December the oneworld member launched thrice-weekly flights (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) on the 3,154-kilometre route from Colombo (CMB) using the carrier’s A320s. Flights will arrive in Kunming at 01:50 and depart the Chinese airport at 02:55. China Eastern Airlines already operates the route, also with thrice-weekly flights. SriLankan Airlines, CEO, Mr. Kapila Chandrasena said, “SriLankan Airlines has always viewed the Far East as one of its priority markets where a gradual increase in the number of tourists seeking Sri Lanka for holidaying has driven the airline to look into more expansion opportunities to cater to the growing demand, as well as to motivate more travellers from both countries to explore the beauty of the two destinations.” Having welcomed the one millionth Chinese tourist to the island in September this year, Sri Lanka sees a clear increase in numbers of Chinese travellers arriving in the country compared to last year. According to Tourist Board statistics, from January to October this year, Sri Lanka has received 106,888 tourists from China, which is a 139% increase compared to the number (44,742) recorded during the same period last year. Elaborating further on the airline’s expansion plans, Mr. Chandrasena added, “SriLankan had operated charter flights to Kunming in the past, and this initiative comes into being after various evaluations and many tourism promotional activities conducted in the region by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.”