MIAMI — SriLankan Airlines has taken delivery of its first A320neo on lease from Air Lease Corporation, making it the 20th operator of the type.
Both the carrier and Airbus embarked upon a long-term strategic relationshop that dates back from 1993, when the airline began operating the A320 and A340. Today, the airline boasts an all-Airbus fleet with 24 aircraft.
SriLankan A320neo is configured for 150 passengers in a two-class cabin layout with 12 business class seats and 138 economy class seats. The carrier will deploy the aircraft on its expanding route network connecting Colombo with destinations in India, Middle East and Far East.
SriLankan will take delivery of its second A320neo in April 2017, followed by the first and second A321neo aircraft in the second quarter. A third A321neo is to arrive before the end of 2017, with the fourth A321neo is due in the first quarter of 2018. The orders for these aircraft were placed several years ago. The revamped fleet will enable the airline to dovetail more efficient management of its newly overhauled business plan for a leaner and a more efficient regional operation.
“Our airline realigned its strategic focus during the last quarter of 2016 to capitalise on market opportunities in the rapidly growing travel and tourism industry in Asia, which included the launch of services to 11 new destinations throughout the Indian Ocean and Middle East regions. The arrival of the A320neo and A321neo aircraft will better align our fleet to this objective, as these aircraft are more suited to our medium haul operations, while we already possess an excellent fleet of A330 aircraft for our long haul routes,” Ajith Dias, Chairman of SriLankan Airlines, said in a statement.
SriLankan’s global network covers 101 cities in 47 countries. As a member of the oneworld global airline alliance, SriLankan also connects its passengers to one world’s worldwide network of more than 1,000 destinations in 160 countries.