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New SriLankan Airlines business plan focuses on routes, fleet

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s loss-making national carrier said it has drawn up a new business plan aimed at restoring profitability with a focus on a route network that includes new destinations and digital marketing.

“SriLankan Airlines has formulated a new five-year Strategic Business Plan for the period 2019-24 with the objective of transforming itself into a financially viable organization airline group with high brand visibility and a global reputation for excellence,” a statement said.

It aims to turn Sri Lanka into a strategic hub for air travel and air cargo in the Asia-Africa-Middle East region.

The business plan was crafted entirely by the management of the airline under the guidance of chief executive Vipula Gunatilleka.

The plan “recognizes the enormous contribution of the national carrier to the GDP of Sri Lanka in many different areas, including all export, import and leisure and envisages a corresponding increased contribution to the nation’s economy as the airline grows,” the statement said.

 “A key aspect of the Strategic Business Plan includes developing a route network to match customer demand and market opportunities, including new destinations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, the Far East and Australia, as opposed to the current limited point-to-point strategy.”
The new plan also focuses on selecting a fleet that is cost effective and best matches the requirements of the route network.

“Digital transformation and technology adoption to transform  processes across the airline have been identified as top priorities, including expansion of direct online sales and generation of  revenue from  new digital businesses; and introduction of more digital payment options to reach new passenger segments by implementing e-wallets, online-mobile commerce and community-based selling to create a digital market place.”

It also aims at adopting best practices to improve productivity, growing online sales to reach a wider market in a more cost effective manner, greater employee engagement, and implementing a competitive cost structure through a greater cost consciousness throughout the company.

“The Strategic Business Plan also calls for the strengthening of the route network through codeshare partnerships and alliances, especially by optimizing opportunities with oneworld member airlines,” the statement said.

“The airline would continue to be a catalyst for the development of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry by aligning its network with the country’s tourism strategy and carrying out joint marketing efforts with Sri Lanka Tourism.”

The plan places “a suitably heavy emphasis on becoming an airline of the digital age with the use of the most modern technology, including fast travel technology, CRM based service delivery, data security and system availability, and the automation of manual processes.”

A key area of focus would be staff productivity and motivation.
(COLOMBO, April 04, 2019-SB)

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