Sri Lanka is a growing market with tremendous potential - Swasdibutra

Though there have been unsettled conditions in Sri Lanka at times, Thai Airways has continued an uninterrupted service since it commenced operating flights to Sri Lanka in 1976 said Thai Airways International’s General Manager Sri Lanka/Maldives Khun Weerawat Swasdibutra.

Sri Lanka has always been a growing market for us and there is tremendous potential here where both inbound and outbound traffic is concerned he added. "There has been a significant growth in this sector and always our flights have been full," he noted.

Thai Airways which operates three flights a week now, would increase the frequency to four flights a week from 2 April, with an addition on Wednesdays.

"Sri Lankan travellers have been patronising our product for a long period and we don’t want to disappoint our customers," Swasdibutra pointed out.

A plus factor is that on all four days of the week our flights have the same arrival and departure times which makes it very convenient for the passengers with all of them arriving in Bangkok early morning thus enabling travellers to get convenient connections to major destinations he said.

Swasdibutra said if the situation in Sri Lanka further improves the airline envisages introducing a fifth frequency.

Thai currently operates frequencies on Monday, Thursday and Saturday but with the increasing traffic to and from Sri Lanka and the gap in between the three flights we decided it to introduce an additional frequency he said.

"There is a big potential in the region with the traffic from countries such as China, Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan etc looking for convenient connections and Thai Airways have been handling the bulk of this traffic," he pointed out.

Sri Lanka’s tourism product has great potential and it offers a multitude of attractions which one could visit one another in a few hours. On the other hand both countries are predominantly Buddhist countries and this is a huge advantage to promote religious tourism Swasdibutra noted.

On the other hand the airline has been constantly promoting Sri Lanka as a tourist destination particularly in the region and we want to promote Sri Lanka as a tourist destination as much as we want to promote Thailand he said.

What is required is a more focussed and an aggressive campaign he stressed.

Thai has gained immense popularity among the travellers, whether they are business or leisure clients and it’s repuatation as a reliable airline because of prompt service and greater connectivity to whether it’s east bound or east bound he said Swasdibutra added.

Thai has enhanced plans for the South Asian region immediate connectivity to countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the frequencies to these countries have been doubled daily. He said.

Asked how the Thai Airways convince the would be passengers to visit Sri Lanka he said that "We always project the correct picture and the positive side of it. We always tell the truth to our customers after careful analysis of a situation," he said.

- Haris

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