(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Flydubai, Dubai's innovative low-cost airline, announced that it will fly double daily to Sri Lanka starting this summer, bringing the total number of weekly flights to 14.
The announcement comes a week after the carrier attended the inaugural ceremony for Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (also known as Hambantota Airport). Having announced a three times a week service; Sri Lanka's second international gateway will be served with daily services starting from June 3, 2013. This service is in addition to the current daily flights to Colombo.
Flydubai's Chief Commercial Officer, Hamad Obaidalla, who headed the delegation to the airport, said: "The additional flights are in direct response to strong passenger demand across our network and we are delighted to contribute to the successful developments in the trade and tourism sectors taking place in the eastern and southern part of the island. We've been impressed by the facilities at the new airport and we're certainly excited about the opportunities that these new flights bring to Sri Lanka and the UAE."
More than 30 per cent of flydubai's total passenger traffic to Sri Lanka in 2012 was connecting traffic from the Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) regions. This growth is a result of the carrier's improved connection times in Dubai. The additional flights this summer will further cement the carrier's commitment to the market and significantly contribute to further growth.
Flydubai has the most comprehensive network to the CIS and CEE of any other Middle Eastern carrier which connects Colombo, and once in operation Hambantota, to 21 destinations in 10 countries. The network has witnessed a milestone expansion with the carrier recently announcing it is to double its Russian and Ukrainian network by adding four destinations in Russia, two in Ukraine and increasing the frequency to Kiev to double daily. These new routes bring the carrier's network to more than 60 destinations across the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, Asia, CEE and the CIS.
"We would like to thank the authorities for their ongoing support, and we hope more people will be able to benefit from our excellent services and affordable fares to visit this beautiful country", added Obaidalla.
Flights to Hambantota will operate three-times a week from May 21, 2013 and daily from June 3, 2013. FZ551 departs Dubai Terminal 2 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 2250hrs, landing in Mattala International Airport at 0635hrs local time following a stop in Colombo at 0555hrs. The return flight, FZ552, direct to Dubai departs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 0730hrs, arriving in Dubai at 1050hrs local time.