BANGALORE: SriLankan Airlines has kicked off a new service to China. Beijing service operates from Colombo to Beijing via Bangkok 3 times a week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
The company is also planning a multi-media promotional campaign to promote the various tour packages introduced by its subsidiary SriLankan Holidays.
An important aspect of the launch of flights to China was the signing of interline agreements with four airlines - Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, and Dragon Air - that service 27 major cities throughout China.
Passengers anywhere in China will have easy access to the SriLankan network of destinations, and passengers flying into China can travel on SriLankan up to Beijing and hop on to domestic flights with ease. The introduction of this new flight will provide Bangkok with daily frequencies to Colombo.
Announcing the launch of the new service to China, SriLankan Airlines Manager India Rohan Senaviratne said, "A nation of 1.3 billion people and GDP growing at 9.5 per cent year on year, China as a market has huge potential. Bangalore sees a lot of traffic to China considering companies like Huawei Technologies have offices in the City and homegrown IT majors like Infosys and Wipro have offices in China. We expect our new route Bangkok- Beijing to contribute significantly towards our revenue targets."
SriLankan Holidays - a subsidiary of SriLankan Airlines, is offering attractive packages for travelers to Sri Lanka and various other exotic destinations like Maldives, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
Conditional low cost packages were announced viz: the Far East (Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok) starting from minimum 2 nights / 3 days,
Earlier a ‘Rediscover Sri Lanka‘ package aimed at holidaymakers who set out to discover Sri Lanka in association with Taj Group of hotels, Sri Lanka Tourism, and the Tourism Cluster was announced the launch to boost tourism in the country that is fast recovering from last year‘s Tsunami.
The $ 4.1 million campaign with the tagline ‘SriLanka thanks the world for caring, and in return invites you over‘ spearheaded by SriLankan Airlines and the tourism board was released in international press and television channels on May 16, 2005.
The three and half month campaign will initially consist of commercials on pan-regional television in Europe, the Middle East, Far East, and South Asia followed by localized press advertisements in Europe, the country‘s major tourism markets.
An Internet campaign is also being conducted with banner advertisements on 25 major travel websites.
Among those involved in the production of the campaign were Grant McCann, Film Locations, Hit Factory, Video Image, Power House, and Vision Works, all in Sri Lanka, and VHQ Singapore.
As a commitment to rebuild the nation and accelerate tourism, SriLankan Airlines is providing $ 2.1 million towards Rediscover SriLanka campaign along with supporting the campaign through series of media conferences in target markets to promote the campaign. SriLankan Holiday, a subsidiary of SriLankan Airlines is offering up to 20 per cent off on holiday packages.
USAID, which supports the Tourism cluster, has pledged $ 3 million for Sri Lanka‘s tourism recovery efforts, of which $ I million will be towards the Rediscover Sri Lanka campaign.