Sri Lankan start-up Fly Lankan Asia plans to launch its flight services before the end of the year, starting with cargo operations.

Fly Lankan Asia’s new CEO Dr Arosha Fernando told local media Sunday Observer The airline’s business model is different from that of the national airline SriLankan Airlines and FitsAir, making it the country’s third-largest international airline. FitsAir is a small airline that operates domestic passenger services and international air cargo services.

Dr Arosha says there are certain gaps in Sri Lanka’s short-haul freight market and low-cost passenger services market that they intend to take advantage of.

“These gaps, coupled with the demand for freight and passenger services on selected routes out of Sri Lanka, mean that a new airline could eventually capture a significant portion of the air transport business,” he explains. .

Dr Fernando said the launch phase of Fly Lankan Asia is primarily focused on cargo operations, as the airline expects travel restrictions linked to the pandemic to persist in the short to medium term.

He says their strategic priority for the foreseeable future is freight. “The demand for air cargo services in the region will only grow, as people accept this new way of life, with more emphasis on efficiency, costs and specialized customer services,” adds. he does.

“It is prudent to establish yourself with a solid footing in freight before preparing to seize the opportunities in passenger operations.”

He says they sought approval from authorities over a year ago and are close to getting final approval.

“Initially, we will operate as a regional operator limited to countries like Dubai [United Arab Emirates], Maldives, India, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia for passenger and freight services, ”he said, adding that they hope to start operations before the end of the year, with flights departing from the main international airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Bandaranaike International Airport and the Former International Airport Ratmalana International Airport. He also says he plans to operate from Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, an international airport in southeastern Sri Lanka, near the city of Mattala.

Dr Fernando said Fly Lankan Asia wanted to work with SriLankan Airlines and FitsAir to further develop the industry, instead of treating each as a competitor, to create a win-win scenario.

According to him, the main investor of Fly Lankan Asia is an American aircraft leasing company that has launched five airlines in seven countries.

According to Dr Fernando, Fly Lankan Asia has already purchased its first aircraft in Kenya and will be taking delivery in the coming weeks after obtaining the necessary approvals. They are negotiating for other planes, he adds.

Lushan Fernando, the director of flight operations of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) said Smart Aviation Asia-Pacific in december last year, the airline’s proposed fleet consisted of BAe 146-300 for commercial passenger operations and Boeing 737-200 for freight operations.

The image from shows Dr Arosha Fernando.

Related stories:

Start-up Fly Lankan Asia appoints CEO (October 27, 2021)

Fly Lankan Asia will operate Boeing 737-200 and BAe 146 (September 17, 2020)