Government Asks Money-Losing SriLankan Airlines To Launch New Routes To Europe

After losing hundreds of millions of dollars over the past several years, SriLankan Airlines has been working on shrinking their way into profitability, or at least has worked on minimizing losses.

Well, now Sri Lanka’s government is asking the airline to launch additional long haul routes. Government requests additional Europe flight

Sri Lanka’s Tourism And Aviation State Minister has revealed that SriLankan Airlines has been requested to consider resuming flights to either Frankfurt, Germany, or Paris, France . Both of these routes were cut in late 2016. The government is even willing to subsidize these routes if need be… or so they say.

As the minister is quoted as saying: “We have started discussions with the national carrier on the need to resume services to either Frankfurt in Germany and/or Paris in France. These are hubs for the rest of Europe, and direct flights will boost arrivals.” The government wants to attract seven million tourists and $10 billion in tourism earnings by 2025, compared to 2.3 million tourists and $4.4 billion in tourism earnings in 2018.

It’s even noted that a big tour operator out of France and Belgium said there would be increased demand if there were more direct flights. This tour company brings over 2,000 tourists each year to Sri Lanka, and hopes to double that number by 2021.

While that’s not insignificant, that’s also hardly the basis for a new route. SriLankan Airlines still losing money

It goes without saying that SriLankan Airlines has had a tough year, given the terrorist attack in Sri Lanka last year.

Even prior to that, though, the company was reporting huge losses. For example, in the year ending March 2019, the company reported an operating loss of about 175 million USD.

This has come after the company has taken many initiatives to reduce losses. For example, in 2016 the airline allegedly paid 170 million USD just to cancel four A350 orders , and at the same time, the airline started leasing some of their A330s to Pakistan International Airlines. SriLankan Airlines’ A330 business class This gets at the challenge with national airlines

SriLankan Airlines’ current situation is the perfect representation of the challenges that so many money-losing national airlines face, whether we’re talking about Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, Malaysia Airlines, South African Airways, or so many other airlines.

Airlines almost seem to be a political pawn. When it’s convenient they’re used to promote tourism […]

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