October and November saw the introduction of three new airlines with charted flights to Bandararayake International Airport.
TUI Poland, part of the massive TUI Group, arrived on 7th November with 190 passengers on board. The ground handling was arranged by Aitken Spence Group, who announced that it will be attracting 13 charter flights from Poland, with one arriving every 11 days until mid-March 2019. The number of visitors to Sri Lanka from Poland increased 16% from 2015 to 2017.
TUI UK will also be operating weekly flights from London between November and April.
Edelweiss, Switzerland’s leading leisure airline has expanded its Asian network to include seasonal flights between Zurich and Colombo. The first flight arrived on 4 November and ground services were provided by Baur & Co. Ptv (Ltd). Two flights per week are scheduled until May 2019, and flights will be available in October and November 2019.
Aeroflot, the Russian airline, recommenced its Moscow-to-Colombo flights in October after a decade-long hiatus. Five direct flights per week will be available on Airbus A330 aircraft. Russia is a top ten source market for Sri Lanka, welcoming just under 60,000 visitors in 2017.