SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, will be suspending its operations to Paris and Frankfurt, from winter 2016.
Accordingly, the last flights between Frankfurt and Colombo, flights UL 553/554, will be operated on October 30, while UL 563/564 of November 6, 2016 will conclude the operations between Paris and Colombo.
The Government of Sri Lanka has made it clear that it will no longer fund continuing losses. Airline sources said that the route network is being continuously evaluated in the context of changing market dynamics in order to maximize on sustainable routes which bring in more contribution towards the bottom line.
While the drop in fuel prices has contributed to the airline’s improved performance, this benefit has been significantly eroded with the airline’s revenues declining for the F/Y ending 2015/16 compared to the previous year. Addition of capacity to the Colombo market particularly by Middle Eastern carriers, accompanied by a drop in airfares in European markets has seen the contribution of the European network drop in comparison to the other routes. This has been further exacerbated by the depreciation of the Euro against the Dollar. Airline sources further stated that there were no short term signs of recovery in yields.
SriLankan Airlines operates daily flights to both Doha and Abu Dhabi and has a strong code share relationship with Etihad and Qatar through which it will continue to provide onward connectivity to the European destinations it has been serving via Paris and Frankfurt.
London will remain the Airline’s gateway to Europe, where the airline has deployed its A330-300 fleet for daily non-stop operations.
The Indian Sub-continent, the Middle East and the Far East will remain SriLankan’s focal markets, where the Airline will continue to explore its potential for expansion.