Dubai, Oct 27 (UNI) SriLankan Airlines will launch its services to Coimbatore on October 29, making the South Indian city the airline's 11th destination in India.
Coimbatore, situated near the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, is an ideal gateway for travellers from East Kerala to fly to West Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Far East. A major industrial city, Coimbatore is the second largest metropolis in Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, Calicut is observing a general strike today to protest against the alleged neglect by the Indian government of the Karipur airport and alleged preference shown to Coimbatore over Calicut.
SriLankan Airlines Chief Eexecutive Officer Peter Hill said, ''SriLankan Airlines has positioned Colombo as the gateway to India, and we are continuously increasing our services there. This includes the addition of more and more cities across India to our route network, and we are proud to add Coimbatore to this list''.
The airline will initially operate four flights a week on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday using Airbus A320 aircraft. It already has services to three major cities in Kerala--Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, and Kochi; and two in Tamil Nadu--Chennai (Madras) and Tiruchirapalli.
Senaka Fernando, Regional Manager (Indian subcontinent and Maldives) said, ''SriLankan Airlines is very familiar with the travel requirements of South Indian passengers, and we take great care in providing the best facilities to them.'' A short 70-minute flight would bring travellers to Colombo, where the airline has rapid connections to its global network of 54 destinations in 28 countries. Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport has earned a reputation as the finest in the South Asian region following its recent expansion, with its modern terminal and aerobridges, comfortable lounges, and well-stocked duty free shopping complex.
SriLankan carried a staggering 1.1 million passengers to and from India during April 2006-March 2007, which is almost 32 per cent of the airline's global traffic. Sri Lanka is a popular destination among Indian tourists.