Overseas travel from Visakhapatnam takes a boost with the launch of SriLankan Airlines’ international flights. Siva Ramachandran, the Chief Commercial Officer of SriLankan Airlines shares the details with Jaya Siva Murty.
‘Vizag is a suitable target for expansion.’ With a growing upper middle class segment, as a center where the economies are growing and where the GDP is rising, Siva Ramachandran shared that the city is a suitable target for the expansion of SriLankan Airlines. Being a place where the desire to travel has increased, he also added that the city shows growth which is on par with the metros. Also as importantly, it is a city with many Buddhist sites dating back to the 5th century BC, making it ideal for Sri Lankan travellers. Along with that, the rise in cargo from the city also makes it lucrative for expansion.
Tourism from India ‘Currently India constitutes for 18% of tourists from the world to Sri Lanka.’ The number of tourists to Sri Lanka, from India, is the highest in terms of nationality, followed only by China. The reason for this high tourism from India, he notes, is a rise in desire to travel for the Indian. Moreover, not only is a trip to Sri Lanka economically viable, it is also a suitable transit point for travel to other nations as well. While tourists are seen to head towards different countries, many take the route to head to the Middle East and the Far East from Sri Lanka.
With a wide demographic of travellers across age groups, trends indicate students, IT professionals and even senior citizens being outbound, he shared.
About SriLankan Airlines SriLankan Airlines had launched its operations in India in 1979 and Vizag is marked as the 12th destination since its inception. It is also the first full service airline to launch in the city, connecting Vizag to the world through its global route network. With a fleet strength of 25, the narrow-bodied A320 & A321 operate on this route and will offer services four times a week to the city.
Connecting Vizag to the world, SriLankan Airlines will target travellers not only from the city, but also from the nearby states, as Vizag is centrally located. The launch also makes Vizag one of the three cities in India that SriLankan Airlines is adding to its network. This has been done in a nine day period, making its total operations in India add upto 126 weekly flights catering 14 cities. The addition of Vizag, Hyderabad and Coimbatore will also increase SriLankan Airline’s global network route to 105 cities in 47 countries.
Being in the city ‘Vizag has transformed.’ Coming here after a span of 20 years, Siva Ramachandran noted that the city has completely transformed and is now more developed than it used to be. Adding that he didn’t have time to visit the tourist spots of the city yet, he hopes to do that soon. Having visited destinations across the country, he added that Vizag should be an example for other cities.
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