Apr 10, Colombo: The number of visitors to Sri Lanka from Australia and New Zealand has surged following SriLankan Airlines' commencement of daily direct services between Melbourne and Colombo, the latest statistics compiled by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority show. Australia is now firmly among the top ten source markets for visitors to Sri Lanka.
SriLankan launched its services between Melbourne, one of Australia's largest cities, and Sri Lanka's capital in October 2017. In December SriLankan provided further convenience for travelers from most other major Australian cities by expanding its codeshare agreement with Qantas to link Melbourne with Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney, and also New Zealand's largest city Auckland.
Visitor arrivals from Australia jumped 60.2% in March 2018 and 40.6% from New Zealand in comparison with the same month last year. These growth rates are far above the 24.1% growth of total visitor arrivals to Sri Lanka from all countries during March 2018.
Growth rates for January 2018 were 16.5% from Australia and 21.8% New Zealand; while growth in February was 27.0% from Australia and 38.8% from New Zealand.
The direct flights provide a high level of convenience for all travelers, including tourists, Sri Lankan students studying in Australia, and the large community of ethnic Sri Lankans living throughout Australia and New Zealand. Passengers enjoy the comforts of the airline's modern Airbus A330 aircraft, with flatbeds in Business Class, sophisticated in-flight entertainment and world class service provided by SriLankan's award winning cabin crew.
SriLankan has been extending its route network throughout Asia and provides Australian travelers excellent options in connectivity, with one-stop journeys to the most popular destinations via Colombo. SriLankan also operates one-stop twice-daily services between Sri Lanka and Australia with its codeshare partners Qantas and Malaysia Airlines.
SriLankan Airlines operates a route network of 105 cities in 47 countries from its hub in Colombo, with a fleet of modern aircraft. As a member of the prestigious oneworld global airline alliance, SriLankan also connects its passengers to over 1,000 cities in 160 countries around the globe through its oneworld partner airlines.
SriLankan has in recent times been honored with a series of global and regional accolades. These include a prestigious Four Star Rating from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX); 'World's Leading Airline to the Indian Ocean' for two consecutive years at the World Travel Awards; 'Best Full Service Airline in Central & South Asia' for three consecutive years at the Future Travel Experience Asia Awards 2017; 'Leading International Airline' and 'Best in Class' at the South Asian Travel Awards 2017; and 'Innovation in Commercial Airline Cabins' at the In-flight Asia Pacific Awards.