Air China’s first flight to Sri Lanka was celebrated in Colombo with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and commemorative cake. The inaugural flight was welcomed by Ports, Shipping and Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga. Mr Ranatunga is the former captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team, who led his country to victory in the 1996 Cricket World Cup, an event which starts this weekend and will take place for the next six weeks across Australia and New Zealand.
- Air China has added Sri Lanka to its global route network. On Tuesday 10 February the Star Alliance carrier commenced four times weekly flights (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays) between Chengdu (CTU) and Colombo (CMB) using its A330s. The outbound flight departs from Chengdu at 18:30 Beijing time and arrives in Colombo at 21:50 local time. The inbound flight departs from Colombo at 23:10 local time and arrives back in Chengdu at 06:40 the following day. The 3,607-kilometre route is not flown by any other carrier. The only other direct links between China and Colombo are with SriLankan Airlines to Beijing, Kunming and Shanghai, and with China Eastern Airlines from Kunming. From Chengdu Air China now operates to eight international destinations; the others being Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Karachi, Kathmandu, Mumbai, Singapore and Taipei. See how Colombo Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.