SriLankan Airlines Adds A Record Number Of Sydney & Melbourne Flights – by JAMES PEARSON
SriLankan Airlines is expanding its Australia offer, with Melbourne rising to 1x daily and Sydney to 5x weekly.
SriLankan Airlines has added flights to Melbourne and Sydney. As such, it has more flights Down Under this northern summer (winter in Australia) than ever before. It has 722 round trip services (214,000 seats), up by 72% over the previous record in 2019.
SriLankan increases Australia
As the state of Victoria is home to Australia’s largest Sri Lankan community, it is no surprise that Melbourne, the state’s capital, has the most flights. Nor that it was the first Australian city to be served when the carrier returned to the country in 2017
New South Wales has the second-largest Sri Lankan population. From May 14th, Sydney, its capital, will have 5x weekly flights, up from 4x. This will be its highest frequency to date.
The details of both routes are shown below, with all times local. They use 297-seat A330-300s, SriLankan’s highest-capacity aircraft, with 28 fully flat beds in business and 269 seats in economy.
- Colombo to Melbourne: UL604, 00:20-14:40; A330-300; 1x daily
- Melbourne to Colombo: UL605, 16:10-22:25; 1x daily
- Colombo to Sydney: UL606, 00:05-14:55; A330-300; daily except Wed/Sun
- Sydney to Colombo: UL607, 16:10-22:55; daily except Wed/Sun
Where do passengers go?
Booking data shows that most of SriLankan’s Melbourne passengers in 2019 were point-to-point (P2P). They only flew between Melbourne and Colombo. That’s good as P2P is higher yielding than connecting traffic.
Still, approximately 80,000 passengers transited from Melbourne over SriLankan’s Colombo hub. Over nine in ten passengers connected to/from India, especially to/from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai. The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows over 700,000 Indians in Australia in 2020.
SriLankan actively targets India demand; hardly surprising given its size. Indeed, Qantas launched Delhi from Melbourne and Adelaide, and it’ll begin Bangalore this September. Elsewhere, Pakistan International is expected to begin Lahore-Sydney soon.
Connects to up to seven places
Analyzing SriLankan’s connections for the first week of this coming June shows that only seven two-way connections are available from Melbourne and six from Sydney. That’s based on up to a five-hour wait and flying no more than 50% out of your way.
The seven are Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Karachi, Lahore, Mumbai from Melbourne, and all these except Lahore from Sydney. That’s a market of over 950,000 passengers based on 2019 numbers.
It has been many years since I last flew SriLankan. Have you flown them recently? If so, share your experiences by commenting.