|Rohana Perera – Head of Commercial, Mihin Lanka|
Lanka’s national low-cost carrier will expand its operations this winter by
introducing flights to Lahore in Pakistan and increasing its frequencies to the
Seychelles. Mihin Lanka already services several destinations in the Middle
East, Indian subcontinent and Far East and will expand further to meet the
growing demand for flights due to an increase in tourism and trade.
on the new route to Lahore, Rohana Perera, Head of Commercial, Mihin Lanka,
said, “Lahore is Pakistan’s second largest city and contributes to 60 percent
of Pakistan’s GDP. The new route will enhance regional connectivity and
strengthen economic and trade ties between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The
potential for export cargo is immense in Lahore as the city is a thriving
commercial hub and exports textiles, raw material, carpets, sports goods,
surgical equipment, fresh fruits and vegetables. There is also a significant
demand for cargo uplifts from Sri Lanka to Pakistan, especially with the export
of beetle leaves which are in high demand.
The city of Lahore also has several
tourist attractions, making it an ideal holiday destination for Sri Lankans.
Lahore also has a growing demand for outbound travel to the Far East and
destinations in South East Asia and this is another opportunity which MihinLanka hopes to capitalize on further together with its code share partner
SriLankan Airlines. At present no other airline directly services the Lahore
route and Mihin Lanka will commence flights in November 2014 with three flights
per week (scheduled every Monday, Wednesday and Friday). The flying time from
Colombo to Lahore is approximately four hours and flights will depart from
Colombo at 19.45 hrs.
effect from 30 October 2014, Perera also advised that Mihin Lanka will commence
its third frequency to the Seychelles. At present, Mihin Lanka operates two
flights per week to the Seychelles every Tuesday and Saturday. The airline will
operate its third flight every Thursday. The decision to commence flights to
the Seychelles was made after His Excellency; President Mahinda Rajapaksa
visited the Republic of Seychelles in June 2013 which resulted in the signing
of the bilateral Air Services Agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and
the Republic of Seychelles. Under the President’s guidance, Mihin Lanka began
offering convenient flights to the Seychelles; a popular holiday destination
and important trade partner for Sri Lanka.
the success of the Seychelles route, Perera further stated, “Mihin Lanka has
experienced immense growth in passenger and cargo uplifts to the Seychelles
over a short period of time and the flights have contributed significantly to
the airline’s success. Mihin Lanka commenced its operations to the Seychelles
with two flights per week with just over 50 percent cabin factor. In the short
span of six months, the airline has managed to achieve 70 percent cabin factor.
During this short period, there has been a significant increase in business
between Sri Lanka and the Seychelles. Mihin Lanka hopes that the third flight
in the schedule will provide passengers with the opportunity to increase their
travel between both countries for business and leisure.”
route from Sri Lanka to the Seychelles also supports a strong trade partnership
between both countries. Sri Lankan fruits and vegetables as well as readymade
garments and construction materials are exported continuously to the Seychelles
from Sri Lanka. Mihin Lanka has also uplifted an average of three tons of cargo
containing mostly perishables on every flight to date and the increase in
frequency will provide further opportunities for Sri Lankan exporters to expand
their businesses in the Seychelles. The additional flight to the Seychelles
will also help increase tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka. At present many tourists
from the Seychelles visit Sri Lanka, for business and leisure. In addition to
this, medical tourism is also on the rise as many Seychellois visitors seek
medical advice and treatments at Sri Lankan hospitals. By increasing the
frequency of flights to the Seychelles, Mihin Lanka is directly contributing to
Sri Lanka’s growing tourism industry whilst simultaneously supporting the
country’s economic development.
on the new flights, Nishantha Ranatunga, Chairman / CEO, Mihin Lanka stated,
“We have increased our flight frequencies to the Seychelles because the route
benefited from steady growth and proved to be highly profitable. In a short
period of time, the Seychelles route contributed significantly towards our
bottom line and a third flight will further support this momentum of growth.
The introduction of Mihin Lanka flights to Lahore will also support trade and
business partnerships between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Our expansion with these
routes will help us grow our business exponentially by increasing passenger and
cargo uplifts. As Sri Lanka’s national low-cost airline, Mihin Lanka remains
dedicated to providing our passengers with continued comfort, convenience and
affordability. We also remain committed to achieving growth for the airline in
order to further support the development of the country.”
Lanka is a leading low-cost airline in South Asia that operates across many
destinations in the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and South East Asia.
Since its launch in 2007, Mihin Lanka has come a long way, becoming one of the
region’s most admired affordable travel brands. The airline strives to maintain
the highest standards and is the only low-cost airline which provides a
complimentary on-board meal and a free checked-in baggage allowance.
Focused on delivering the best to its customers, Mihin Lanka continuously
adapts to passenger needs, in order to further fulfill its mission of being the
leading low-cost airline in the region.