ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 22

Cheap ticket bookings rise, travel agents grounded

The offer by SriLankan Airlines of cheap tickets to London, Paris or Frankfurt has attracted more than 7,000 bookings so far, according to Head of Corporate Communications Chandana de Silva.

The offer in its third week now has also resulted in more applications for visas to the respective countries.

According to the offer, no refunds would be made after the bookings and the prospective travellers risk the chance of losing money for the ticket as well as the visa processing fee.

A private company The Visa Facilitation Centre which is handling visa applications for the three countries confirmed that additional applications were flowing in, but said they were yet to see a major increase.

A spokesman for the Centre told The Sunday Times that there had been an increase in student visa applications to the UK.

British High Commission spokesman John Kulley said they expected to see a rise though there had been no major increase yet.

Meanwhile, due to SriLankan airlines adopting the internet booking system many travel agents have been kept out of business.

But, Mr. de Silva said that the system was only being used for this special offer, but said they believed the travel agents would soon adopt to the reality of the system.

“We need the travel agents. They are important to our business, but they will have to change their booking systems soon”, he said.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.