Direct Melbourne To Colombo Flights To Start In October

29 May 2017

The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed the announcement by SriLankan Airlines that it will start a new Colombo to Melbourne service.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren today congratulated the airline on its decision to run a daily service out of Melbourne, and offer more than 100,000 seats on the route every year.

The announcement means there will soon be 30 international airlines flying in and out of Melbourne Airport.

The new service will start on 29 October 2017 and connect with SriLankan Airlines' extensive network into India – one of the state’s largest and fastest growing tourism markets and a key source market for international students.

Victoria is home to the nation’s largest Sri Lankan community, with almost 44,000 people of Sri Lankan birth and heritage living in the state. Nearly 70 per cent of all Sri Lankan international students in Australia are enrolled in Victoria.

Victoria also has more visitors from Sri Lanka than any other state, with 18,000 Sri Lankans visiting Victoria last year – 60 per cent of all Sri Lankan tourists to Australia.

Victoria’s aviation industry is worth more than $1 billion to the state’s economy, which is why we’re working hard to attract new services, boost tourism and create jobs.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren

“I’m delighted to welcome Sri Lanka’s national carrier to Melbourne Airport and look forward to this new service strengthening links between our state and Sri Lanka.”

“New routes to Melbourne mean more people will be able to experience Victoria’s amazing attractions and attend major events, which grows our economy and creates jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan

“This is another demonstration of the Government creating new jobs in Victoria and opening up our airline industry to another corner of the world.”

Quote attributable to SriLankan Airlines Chief Executive Officer Captain Suren Ratwatte

“Our presence in Australia cements the long-standing relationship between our two countries.”

“Given the number of Sri Lankans residing in and around Victoria, we fulfil a long felt need for a direct service. We are proud to welcome all the diverse residents of Victoria who can now enjoy the direct connections when visiting their friends and families throughout our network.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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