Oct 25, Colombo: SriLankan Airlines added Wennappuwa, the Puttalam District town fondly called, 'Little Italy,' to its growing
network of sales offices across the island on Thursday, 25th October, with the opening of a new branch.
Wennappuwa is called 'Little Italy' for good reason. Sustained by a large community of migrant workers employed in Italy, the
funds funnelled home have not only enriched their families, but transformed the town to a thriving, commercial landmark in the
North Western Province where it is situated. Migrant workers and families also engage in regular travel between Sri Lanka and
Italy, giving rise to the need for a convenient, one-stop shop to cater to their travel requirements.
The new office is geared towards doing just that, and will facilitate all manner of travel formalities. This includes
handling of reservations, ticketing, Prepaid Ticket Advices (PTAs), requests for special services, information on fares,
schedules and packages, and essentially all sales activity carried out by any city office of the airline.
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of SriLankan, G. T. Jeyaseelan stated, "Wennappuwa presents a sizeable market to us due
to the large number of locals employed overseas, and it's crucial for SriLankan to have a stronger presence. We have no doubt
that this branch will serve the local community greatly, as well as contribute to the growth of the airline."
One member out of every three families in Wennappuwa has migrated to Italy in search of better job opportunities.
"The traveller segment to Italy has been one of our key segments, with SriLankan maintaining three flights a week to
Rome and Milan via direct and codeshare operations, and the new office is merely an extension of our services to this very
important and valued set of customers," added SriLankan's Head of Worldwide Sales, Lal Perera.
The airline is in the process of rolling out an extensive expansion strategy in the local market, with a focus on making the
SriLankan brand and product readily available to Communities Island wide. Last month, SriLankan added Hambantota and in May
this year, Jaffna, to its branch network.
"We are widening our reach in the local market - it is part of the duty of any National Carrier, and our aim is to provide
a direct and convenient service to passengers. To that end, SriLankan will continue to strengthen its presence through several
branch openings in the coming months," Regional Manager Sri Lanka & Maldives, Saminda Perera, concluded.
SriLankan has appointed 2nd Chance Travels (Pvt) Ltd., as its Passenger Sales Agency (PSA) in Wennappuwa. With 12 years
of experience under its belt, 2nd Chance Travels is an IATA accredited agency in Puttalam and no stranger to the travel
market to Italy. Their existing knowledge of this particular segment and capacity to serve even better once they open office
in Verona, Italy, this December, make them an apt choice to spearhead operations for SriLankan in the town.
2nd Chance Travels' Managing Director, Duminda Lowe said, "As the number one travel agent in the country for the Italian market,
we are excited to partner with the National Airline of the country, and jointly enhance services to our customers."
Minister (Senior) for Social Services, Milroy Fernando, officially opened the Wennappuwa office. In attendance were special
invitees of the Government; a contingent of representatives from the airline including several Senior Management officials;
representatives of the PSA and the media.
The office will be manned by proficient staff and is located at No. 92, Main Street, Wennappuwa. It will be open from
0815-1700hrs on weekdays and from 0815-1230hrs on Saturdays (except mercantile and Poya holidays). For information,
telephone is 0312254251.