BRITISH Airways (BA) is planning to resume flights to Colombo, after pulling out from the Sri Lankan capital some ten years ago due to the civil war.
According to Sri Lankan aviation authorities, the UK flag carrier plans to operate thrice-weekly services between London (Gatwick) and Colombo via Male, beginning next March. Currently, the only direct connection between London and Colombo are daily flights operated by SriLankan Airlines.
“It’s a very good move. There will be (increased) positivity and confidence when an airline like BA starts flying to Colombo,” said Michael Elias, CEO of Walkers Tours, which represents Kuoni, Virgin Holidays and Thomas Cook in Sri Lanka.
Elias added that flying from Gatwick in South London would be a boon, as some of the main outbound travel operators such as Kuoni and Virgin Holidays had offices nearby.
Chaminda Dias, executive director, Luxe Asia, said the return of BA would lend credibility to Sri Lanka’s efforts to ramp up post-war tourism development. “It will legitimise the fact that Sri Lanka is normal and ready for tourism,” he said.