The commencement of operations by Swiss International Airlines, 'Swissair' between Colombo and Zurich will help boost the tourism industry in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of COVID pandemic, Aviation and Export Zones Development State Minister D.V. Chanaka said
He said the resumption of the airline's winter flights scheduled to Colombo will strengthen cooperation in trade, investment, financial, educational, and cultural areas between the two nations.
“We have been continuing our efforts to ensure that our airports are operated in compliance with the international standards of health and safety,” the State Minister said.
The inaugural flight touched down today at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and was greeted by Swiss envoy to Colombo, Dominic Furgler.
Speaking to the media on the occasion, the State Minister said the government is planning to upgrade the aviation industry of Sri Lanka by introducing new technology and digitalizing our airport network to give a seamless passenger experience.
Swissair, a member of the Germany's Lufthansa Group, resumed operations once again to Colombo today.
The inaugural flight, an Airbus 340 from Zurich to Colombo entered the tarmac at 7:45 am and was welcomed by a celebratory water cannon salute upon arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport, followed by a traditional Kandyan dance performance and an inaugural ceremony to welcome the guests.
95 passengers travelled on this flight. The weekly service to Colombo every Friday with a capacity of 314 seats will feature 27 seats in Business Class and 287 in Economy. The economy cabin includes 70 seats with extra recliners and leg-room.
The airline was scheduled to operate a twice in a week service year-round before the COVID pandemic. Gauging from the interest demonstrated now by potential visitors to the island, we are optimistic that we could revisit this plan in the not-too-distant future, “stated Parveen Dassanaike, Chairperson and Managing Director of United Ventures, the General Sales Agent (GSA) for Lufthansa Group in Sri Lanka.
The distance from Zurich to Colombo is 8023 km or 4332 nautical miles, with an estimated flight time of nine hours and 56 minutes. Zurich serves as a convenient hub for the rest of Europe and for the Americas, and Swissair offers attractive and competitive fares for its services.
Senior officials of Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited, the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) and senior officials of Sri Lanka Tourism were present at the reception event. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama and T.K.G.Kapila)