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
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
British High Commission spokesman John Kulley
said they expected to see a rise though there had been no major
Meanwhile, due to SriLankan airlines adopting
the internet booking system many travel agents have been kept out
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.