Sep. 03 (NJ-USA), SriLankan Airlines USA and Canada held an Agents Awards Night recognizing their Agents on Saturday, 24th August 2013 at the Hilton
Hotel in Toronto. The glittering night was hosted by SriLankan Airlines' Chairman, Mr. Nishantha Wickremasinghe who was present at the event. The
guests included Diplomats, Parliamentarians, Airline Officials, Canada Transport Agency, Tour Operators and a cross section of prominent community leaders.
Opening the floor Sri Lanka High Commissioner to Canada Mrs. Chitranganee Wagiswara highlighted the importance of boosting inbound tourism
to Sri Lanka from Canada and North America noting that the movement is already taking place. To this effect Mrs. Wagiswara mentioned SriLankan
Airlines Canada office is well poised to work with the tourism industry and progress is already being made in this field.
This was followed by a speech and detailed presentation by Mr. Nishantha Wickremasinghe, Chairman, SriLankan Airlines who articulated the
SriLankan Airlines product enhancements and future plans being made in areas of aircraft acquisition and the infra-structure that is already
available and being developed to boost inbound tourism. He said Sri Lanka has been an effective gateway between Europe and beyond to South
East Asia and the Far East. "We have a perfect combination for a holiday with the world's best beaches and oceans, nature, wellness and culture in
a unique setting". Mr. Wickremasinghe added that a new Sri Lanka is emerging and Sri Lankans have put the past behind and continue to work towards
reconciliation and reconstruction. He said that tourist arrivals reached an all-time high in 2012 exceeding projected targets and also expecting a
double digit growth in 2013.
Among the present were Hon. Corneliu Chisu, MP Chair, Canada-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group and Hon. Brad Butt, MP, Electoral District of
Mississauga-Streetsville. Corneliu Chisu addressed the audience briefly and highlighted the importance of furthering long standing good relations
between Canada and Sri Lanka.
A series of awards were presented to the SriLankan Airlines Agents from USA and Canada for the financial year 2012/2013 based on their performance.
Mr. Nishantha Wickremasinghe awarded the Gold Awards to the top performing Agents Upul's Travel Service - USA and Jetspeed Travel and Tours Inc - Canada.
Mr. Dillan Ariyawansa, Head of SriLankan Airlines GSA USA and Canada gave away the Silver Awards to Expedia - USA and Air Link Travel Ltd - Canada.
The winners of the Bronze Awards, Orbitz Worldwide - USA and Jet Travels - Canada were awarded by Mrs. Wagiswara.
In addition the following USA and Canada Agents were handed out Appreciation Awards which were given away to Canada Agents by Mr. Lalith Wickremasinghe,
Manager Canada and Ms. Maria D'Souza, Sales Manager-Canada and USA Agents by Mr. Ajith De Alwis, Sales Manager-USA and Ms. Chandani Perera, Senior
Sales Officer- USA.
Canada Appreciation Award winners were Millenium Leisure Travels, Inc, Skylawn Travel Ltd, AJB Travels, Serendib Travel 1, Taprobane Travel Inc,
Landmark Travel Inc., Royal Scenic Holidays, Voyages Saini Travel, Derek Canadian Travels and Tripzter Travel, Inc.
For USA, Upul's Travel Service - New York, Riya Travel and Tours Inc., Sky Bird Travel and Tours, Inc. , Concord Travel, Adore Travel and Travelong
were the Appreciation Award winners.
Besides the awards presentation, the night included live singers and cultural dances. A group of 12 SriLankan Airlines cabin crew had been specially
flown in for the event and they treated the audience to some enchanting cultural dance performances.
Toronto based accomplished and talented young artist Nitha Nava was the MC for the event. Local musical band "Sub Culture" provided live music for the evening.
Mr. Lalith Wickremasinghe delivered the vote of thanks and the evening continued with music and dancing which went well past midnight.
About SriLankan Airlines
SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier for Sri Lanka, is an award-winning airline with a firm reputation as a global leader in service, comfort, safety,
reliability, and punctuality. Awards include World's Friendliest Cabin Staff by Skytrax, Best Airline in South Asia from Travel Trade Gazette, World's
Most Reliable Operator of Airbus A330s and A340s by Airbus Industrie, and the Etihad Global Excellence Award for Best Regional Caterer. Launched in 1979,
the airline's hubs are located at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, Hambantota providing convenient
connections to its global network (including codeshare partners) of 64 destinations in 34 countries around the world. SriLankan has mutual code share
services with Etihad Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Air Canada, Royal Jordanian, Alitalia and Mihin Lanka. Air India and Saudi Arabian Airlines also code
share on some of SriLankan Airlines' routes. For more information, visit www.srilankan.com.
SriLankan's entry to oneworld
SriLankan Airlines has been invited to join oneworld and is on track to join the world's leading airline alliance, early 2014. SriLankan will then be
flying alongside some of the biggest and premier brands in the airline business - airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific,
Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 airlines. SriLankan Airlines, renowned for its award winning
inflight service and hospitality will be the first airline in the sub-continent to join any of the global airline alliances, thus enabling the flagship
carrier of Sri Lanka to offer its customers more services and benefits: such as a wider route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer
miles on any one of the oneworld carriers. Similarly, the 130 million frequent flyer cardholders ofoneworld's member airlines will be able to earn and
redeem rewards on SriLankan. Members of SriLankan Airlines' FlySmiLes frequent flyer programme will enjoy privileges and benefits throughout the oneworld
network, including, for top tier members, access to 550 plus airport lounges worldwide. SriLankan will also be part of oneworld's most extensive ranges
of alliance fares. SriLankan currently has a route network of 64 destinations in 34 countries in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia and
the Far East.
Photography by Sagara Lakmal De Mel