Sri Lanka Airlines to lease 6 Airbus A320NEOs; boost narrow body fleet
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run SriLankan Airlines will take delivery of six Airbus A320NEO aircraft over 2017 and 2018, expanding its narrow body aircraft fleet and regional routes, Chief Executive Suren Ratwatte said.
Four of the planes have been leased from Air Lease Corporation and two from AerCap, he said.
The first of the aircraft will arrive in the first quarter of 2017. Five will be delivered during the year and the sixth aircraft will come in 2018, Ratwatte said.
The aircraft will be deployed on regional routes, which are profitable for the airline.
Ratwatte said he could deploy more A320s if he had them.
SriLankan Airlines was making money is sectors like India, which was a fast-growing market.
SriLankan is also opening a new route to Gan Island in the Maldives this winter and expanding frequencies to Seychelles, Ratwatte said.
SriLankan Airlines will also take over regional routes operated by Mihin Lanka, a state-run budget carrier, which will stop flying in November.
SriLankan now has a fleet of 10 wide-bodied Airbus A330s and 10 A320 aircraft.
By the end of 2017, it will have 14 A320s and 10 A330 operating.
Sri Lankan has leased A330s to Pakistan International Airways. (Colombo/Oct05/2016)