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Sri Lanka Equity Forum » Stock Market News » Sri Lanka airline industry must better tap into regional markets

Sri Lanka airline industry must better tap into regional markets

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CSE.SAS

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Sri Lanka must take advantage of its proximity to populous nations in its bid to become an airline hub and plan to lure 2.5 million tourists to the island, and industry official said.

“They (India, China, and Indonesia) will replace some of the tourism generating markets in the world and we are sitting almost in the middle of these three countries,” said G T Jeyaseelan, chief marketing officer of Sri Lankan Airlines, speaking at the international conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

“The concentration of transit traffic is there to be tapped.”

While the Chinese economy is estimated to grow at nine percent a year over the next five years, gross national income in relation to air traffic with India, China and Indonesia is set to grow at eight to nine percent.

“We are at the doorstep of India which we at Sri Lankan have spoken of for the last 10 years as the extended home market and that is something to be focused,” said Jeyaseelan.

He stressed on the importance of Sri Lanka looking at countries like Dubai and Singapore which have successfully made use of their strategic location to convert their airports into hubs.

“In terms of tourists they (Dubai) had a fraction of what we used to receive. Today we are talking about millions, probably 10 to15 times bigger than us,” said Jeyaseelan.

“We have spoken about Sri Lanka being a hub for 10 to 15 years but implementation, making use of that location has not been full exploited.”

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