National airline SriLankan will be adding two new 15-seater aircraft to its fleet in December of this year with the intention of starting domestic flights primarily to the country's southern tourist hotspots, according to the airline's Asia Pacific Regional Manager Senaka Fernando. This in an effort to meet the needs of anticipated burgeoning arrivals from the UK.
Additionally, Mr. Fernando also revealed that in January the airline will add Canton in China as its landmark 50th route, its fourth in China since it already flies to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.
Mr. Fernando's comments were made at an event launching the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT) International Conference 2010, which will be held on Wednesday, October 13.
Featuring top international speakers such as Dr. Partha Mukhopadhyay, Senior Research Fellow of the Centre for Policy Research in India, and K.C. Jena, Chairman of the Railway Board of India; as well as prominent locals including Aitken Spence Maritime Logistics head Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake and Department of Development Finance head D.S. Jayaweera; the conference theme is "'envisioning development opportunities in transport and logistics in South Asia' with an emphasis on 'the synergy of public & private partnerships'".
Also held in conjunction with the conference would be the CILT management committee meeting which would comprise seven out of 12 members of the CILT international board including International President-elect Prof. Alan Waller. Up to 200 international delegates are expected to visit Sri Lanka due to this event.
Meanwhile, comments made at the launch also suggested one in eight jobs in Sri Lanka today were in the transport and logistics sector, a number in excess of a million and responsible for almost 20% of the country's Gross Domestic Product. Further indicated was 80% of transport was controlled by small and medium operators, and so the sector lacked proper organisation and efficiency while experiencing unnecessary delays, breakages, etc.
Also revealed at the event was the facilities of the Galle port, which has long been proposed by the government to be a yacht friendly, leisure based alternative to the country's other more industrial ports, would be ready by end 2011.