By SAT News Desk
Melbourne, 31 October: Thousands of Sri Lankans, tourists, business travelers or anyone else can now have a sigh of relief with a ten-hour non-stop flight service between Colombo and Melbourne.
The inaugural flight UL604 landed at the Melbourne Airport on 30 October
Carried a host of Sri Lankan dignitaries, including Sri Lankan State Minister for State Enterprise and Development, the Hon. Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, SriLankan Airlines Chairman Mr. Ajith Dias, SriLankan Airlines CEO Captain Suren Ratwatte, and Sri Lankan cricketers, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena.
Those who welcomed the delegation included Melbourne Airport’s Chief of Aviation, Simon Gandy and Invest Victoria Senior Investment Manager, Nigel Aldons among others.
SriLankan Airlines CEO Captain Suren Ratwatte said “We’re excited to be connecting
Melbourne and Colombo like never before. Australia is home to one of the largest Sri Lankan expatriate communities, many of whom reside in and around Melbourne, and our two countries share many interests and passions – making for a rich, cultural exchange in the way of tourism and trade,” Capt. Ratwatte said.
The new non-stop service will also solidify Colombo’s position as a vibrant gateway city, for travelers seeking onward connectivity. SriLankan Airlines currently connects to 14 Indian points with over 120 flights a week, the highest number of Indian destinations served by any
international carrier, and over sixty weekly flights to and from nine Middle Eastern destinations.
The Airline also offers connectivity to popular holiday destinations such as the Seychelles,
and Malé & Gan Island in the Maldives.
“As the national carrier of Sri Lanka, we look forward to providing our award-winning service, delivered with world-renowned Sri Lankan warmth and hospitality, as Australians travel to Sri Lanka, India, the Maldives and beyond,” continued Mr. Jayatileke.
Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Simon Gandy said he is delighted to welcome SriLankan
Airlines to the Melbourne Airport family.
“We are thrilled to launch SriLankan Airlines daily non-stop service between Melbourne and Colombo adding much-needed capacity into such a key route.“Thanks to SriLankan Airlines we are able to better connect family and friends through this
direct, non-stop service. With so many cultural experiences to choose from in Sri Lanka, we’re confident the route is going to be a busy one with tourists as well,” said Mr. Gandy.
SriLankan Airlines’ daily service from Melbourne to Colombo will operate on an Airbus A330-200 departing at 4:55pm (local time) each day, which includes 18 Business Class seats and 251 Economy Class seats, says a SriLankan Airlines media release.