British Airways is launching three-times-weekly service from London Gatwick Airport to Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, via The Maldives, on March 31.
The service to Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport (IATA code CMB) will be operated by Boeing 777-200ER widebodies featuring three cabin classes, including BA’s Club World cabin with fully flat beds.
British Airways’ new Colombo flights, which are now available for booking, will operate via Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (IATA code MLE) serving Male, the capital of The Maldives, and will have a flying time of just over 12 hours 30 minutes.
“This is such an exciting new route for us. The UK has the second largest number of tourists visiting the island after India so it’s a fantastic opportunity for them to fly there with British Airways from Gatwick,” says Silla Maizey, British Airways’ managing director Gatwick. “Sri Lanka has so much to offer visitors from beach, spa or adventure holidays, to cultural, wildlife and nature breaks.”
According to British Airways, the island nation of Sri Lanka is experiencing a revival among leisure travelers. Away from its tropical beaches, there are numerous highlights to discover, including the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy which is said to house the sacred tooth relic of Buddha and the impressive ancient rock fortress in Sigiriya (Lion’s Rock).
For travelers who like to indulge in more active pursuits, Sri Lanka has many scenic hiking trails through its Hill Country region, white water rafting, and many excellent dive sites and surfing spots.
Customers flying to Colombo will travel through British Airways’ dedicated check-in area at London Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal, where new technology allows them to check in faster.
In other British Airways news, this winter BA is doubling the frequency of its service between London Heathrow Airport and Dublin Airport from four round-trips a day to eight.
After an absence of 20 years on the route, British Airways relaunched London Heathrow-Dublin service at the end of June after parent company International Airlines Group completed its acquisition of UK carrier and former Lufthansa subsidiary BMI.
The new schedule, effective from October 28, will also include the introduction of a new early morning departure time of 6.25 a.m.. BA says the early flight has been added to provide an improved schedule for both business and leisure customers.
“We have worked closely with British Airways since the BMI takeover and are delighted that the airline has decided to significantly increase its services on the Dublin-London Heathrow route,” says Vincent Harrison, Dublin Airport Authority’s director of strategy.
“This is excellent news for business and leisure travellers, as British Airways’ doubling of its existing Heathrow service will offer additional choice and flexibility for passengers,” adds Harrison. “Dublin-London is Europe’s busiest international city pair, with 3.7 million passengers traveling by air between the two capitals last year.”
BA will operate the route with 150-seat Airbus A319 aircraft fitted with Club Europe and Club Traveller cabins. Passengers in both cabins are served complimentary food and drinks.