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Etihad Airways Back to servicing Sri Lanka holidays

Following the end of the country's civil war, Etihad Airways is ready to start serving the Sri Lanka holidays market again as it launches a new 4-weekly flight route set to start flying from January 2010.

Etihad Airways Back to servicing Sri Lanka holidays

The United Arab Emirates s’ national airlines, Etihad Airways is finally ready to open up to the Sri Lanka holidays market after the country’s civil war officially came to an end just a couple of months ago. It seems like the airline is ready to welcome the Sri Lanka flight rout once again by devoting a new 4-weekly frequency to Colombo, starting January 2010.

The new flight routes will be serviced by an Airbus A320 and will connect Abu Dhabi to the most popular city of Sri Lanka holidays and also the largest of them all; the capital of Colombo. The move follows the recent culmination of the country’s civil war conflicts, after which much anticipation has been building up concerning the recovery of the island’s wider economy as well as a predicted boost to the popularity of Sri Lanka holidays. And judging for the months of July and August 2009 the Sri Lanka holidays boom is already happening as these summer months saw a 30% increase in visitors to the island when compared to the same period last year. The Sri Lankan government is now targeting 2.5 million visitors a year by 2016.

“Sri Lanka is an established market with a strong local traffic base. We expect the resumption of Etihad flights to be welcomed by the considerable Sri Lankan expatriate community living in the UAE and those living across the Middle East region who will be able to connect quickly and easily back home via Abu Dhabi.

“Colombo will be our first new route launch of 2010, and bring to 58 the number of destinations available across our expanding global network.”said Etihad Airways’ chief executive, James Hogan.

New flight EY266 will depart from Abu Dhabi on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 9.55pm arriving at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport at 3.45am the following day. The corresponding return flight EY267 will be departing Colombo on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 4.45am and arriving in Abu Dhabi at 8.00am the same morning. The timing of the flights has been carefully scheduled to facilitate onward connections from a number of key destinations on the airline’s network, including Moscow and North America.

Being the most visited of cities with the highest number Sri Lanka hotels, Colombo is not only the country’s capital but also the tourism capital of Sri Lanka holidays. With a population of around 650,000 people, Colombo is the island’s commercial centre, home to a majority of Sri Lanka's corporate offices, restaurants and entertainment venues. Famous landmarks in Colombo include the Galle Face Green, the Viharamahadevi Park and the National Museum.

To coincide with the resumption of Etihad’s Colombo service, Sri Lankan Airlines will now also add its ‘UL’ code on Etihad’s Abu Dhabi-Colombo flights. Etihad will operate a two-class Airbus A320 to Colombo, configured to carry 140 passengers with 20 seats in business class and 120 in economy class.

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