Malaysia Airlines, in recognizing the vibrant growth of the Sri Lankan economy and its tourism sector, has decided to expand its operations and visibility, by opening its second branch office in Matara, in the Sothern Province. Malaysia Airlines, represented by Hemas Air Service, its General Sales Agent in Sri Lanka, also has a branch office in Kandy and is the only foreign carrier in Sri Lanka represented at two branch offices.
Matara was chosen as it is one of the largest cities in Sri Lanka, situated 160 km from Colombo and bordering Galle, Wellawaya and Hambantota. Matara is attracting a large number of tourists, international traders and businesses as a result of the new development plans being implemented in the south.
Matara has a population of approximately 800,000 inhabitants, and there is a rapid increase of the society’s education levels and skills, making this town even more focused on the path of development. The town is blessed with high levels of infrastructure like road ways, super markets, banks, etc and shows positive signs of rapid development.
“This is a major milestone for us as just 15 months ago, we increased our flight frequency from Colombo to Kuala Lumpur from five times to seven times weekly, offering a total of 1,162 seats, to cater for the continued growth in demand between the two countries and beyond,” said Manmohan Singh, General Manager Malaysia Airlines for Sri Lanka and Maldives.
“It is indicative of the huge confidence we have in this important market for us and Malaysia Airlines philosophy has always been to continue to innovate and introduce new services for the benefit of our customers. This expansion to the Southern Province is one small way of fulfilling this outreach,” he added.
In the area of product and services, Malaysia Airlines has ordered and received the mega Airbus A380-800 which will become its flagship aircraft. The A380-800, which has just joined the airline’s fleet, will enter into service from 1 July 2012 with three times weekly Kuala Lumpur – London flights. The A380 operations will also be expanded to Sydney, Australia, in November 2012.
The Malaysian A380 aircraft will showcase a new livery that has retained the national airline’s rich ‘WAU’ heritage together with modern fonts in contemporary colors, demonstrating the carrier’s commitment towards using new avenues to deliver its renowned Malaysian Hospitality (MH) brand experience in fresh and exciting ways.
By the end of 2012, Malaysia Airlines will become the newest member of the oneworld alliance which will give the airline improved global coverage and connectivity through an expanded network. Malaysia Airline customers, in particular members of the Enrich loyalty programme, will benefit from increased rewards and recognition whilst enjoying more seamless air travel options. Malaysia Airlines is looking forward to leverage on oneworld’s network of some 800 destinations in 150 countries.
Malaysia Airlines has won numerous awards and accolades for its service delivery. In January this year, Malaysia Airlines was named ‘World’s Leading Airline to Asia 2011’ by the World Travel Awards for the second year running. The Award to the national airline of Malaysia, was voted by travel professionals worldwide.
Dubbed the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’, the World Travel Awards is an annual event that began in 1993. It serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.
For the World Travel Awards programme in 2011, a phenomenal 213,000 industry professionals participated in the online voting process that is strictly monitored and independently audited. In the ‘World’s Leading Airline to Asia’ category, Malaysia Airlines was up against seven other major airlines.
Earlier, Malaysia Airlines had been a big winner at the Asia and Australasia regional awards competition held in Bangkok at the end of September 2011. It won recognition as ‘Asia’s Leading Airline 2011’ and ‘Asia’s Leading Airline Lounge 2011’ for the Golden Lounge at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), which has recently been refurbished.
In the previous year, Malaysia Airlines had been named ‘Asia’s Leading Airline 2010’ and ‘Asia’s Leading Airline Business Class 2010’ apart from winning the coveted ‘World’s Leading Airline to Asia 2010’ honour.