SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier for Sri Lanka, has announced there will be an investment of US$500m in a modernisation of the airline through a fleet renewal programme.
The renewal project will result in the replacement of the older, wide-bodied aircraft with the more fuel-efficient models from Airbus, each of which has 269 Economy Class seats and 28 Business Class seats. The Airline has entered into a formal agreement with Airbus Industries to take delivery of six A330-300 aircraft and four A350-900 aircraft between 2014 and 2021.
The airline says its new fleet will be equipped with the very latest in-flight technology to provide passengers with the maximum level of comfort and enjoyment. Part of this will include the introduction of “Linked SriLankan” which will see WIFI and Mobile (GSM) connectivity on all new A330-300 aircrafts joining the national carrier’s fleet.
The announcement forms a key part of the Airlines’ five-year business plan which is focused on replacing older planes, with a modern, more efficient fleet. Through the fleet the renewal SriLankan Airlines will be able to provide an enhanced service to its customers and increase levels of tourism in Sri Lanka.
Kapila Chandrasena, CEO of SriLankan Airlines, said: “The renewal programme marks the start of a significant period of investment and modernisation for the airline. In order to maintain our status as one of Asia’s leading airlines we are constantly looking to improve our service and offering.”
“The new models will deliver greater comfort and the latest in in-flight technology to passengers, whilst also providing greater fuel-efficiency and lower maintenance costs than our current models. This will bring about strong financial returns and increase the levels of tourism for Sri Lanka as a whole.”
The existing entertainment package available on-board SriLankan Airlines’ aircraft is also being replaced by state-of-the-art Thales Avant video display units, available in both economy and business class seats. Passengers will be able to enjoy interactive and touch screen technology for web-browsing, interactive gaming and emails.
Each aircraft cabin has been designed with a decorative motif which conveys the culture and diversity of the island of Sri Lanka and the airline says their cabins are the quietest in this aircraft category and feature soothing lighting designed to suit meal and relaxation times.
The announcement follows on from the news earlier this year that the Airline had joined oneworld, an alliance of the world’s leading airlines, and in doing so became the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent to join any of the global airline alliances.