SriLankan Airlines has reported a record-breaking profit of USD 11.43 million for December 2021, the most for its air transport business in over 20 years. This is the first time the notable profit has been reflected after the outbreak of Covid-19. Compared to the same period in the last year, the revenues are up by almost 200 pc and are now at 80 pc of the pre-pandemic level.
“The return of passenger traffic in December 2021, together with the cost control measures taken by the airline were the two main reasons for the profits. We are confident that the momentum in passenger traffic will continue this year, and plan to continue our focus on revenue growth whilst monitoring and controlling costs to enable profitability in the months ahead,” Ashok Pathirage, chairman of SriLankan Airlines, tells India Outbound.
SriLankan Airlines carried 228,203 passengers and operated nearly 800 flights in December, 13 times the number of passengers it carried in December 2020. In addition, it also uplifted a total of 7,877 metric tonnes of cargo, which is a 147 pc increase from December 2020.
Challenges faced in the past three years apart from COVID-19 such as Easter Sunday attacks in April 2019 have only led to the decline in tourist arrivals giving a huge setback to the aviation industry. However, the airline says that over the past few months, it has increased its operations especially to India and will continue to add vigourously.
“We continued to expand our global network in the past two years despite the many challenges posed by the pandemic and look forward to increasing our scheduled operations to India. SriLankan Airlines currently operates 55 flights a week to destinations across India, which is less than half the number of flights operated before Covid-19. In the coming months, however, we expect to increase this number to reach 75 pc of our pre-pandemic level of operations to India and also have plans to introduce flights to two additional cities in India once the traffic improves,” says Pathirage.
SriLankan Airlines launched operations to numerous destinations including Seoul, Nairobi, Moscow, Paris and Kathmandu as and when required in the past year. It also became the first airline to conduct familiarisation tours (FAM) for travel trade journalists based in Russia, France and India last year.