(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –SriLankan Airlines, recorded a significant improvement in its performance, for the 9 months ended December 31, 2018 against the corresponding period in the previous year.
Notable improvements were recorded in deployment of capacity, passenger and cargo revenue, market yield and unit cost. Year 2018 was a challenging year for the Airline due to the adverse impactof risingglobal fuel prices, rapid depreciation of local and regional currencies and political instability. However the Airline showed a great resilience by executing effective strategies to curb the impact of such adverse external environmental factors.
During this period, SriLankan’s net traffic revenue from core airline operations increased to USD 746 million (Rs 120 billion) with a year on year growth of 8%. Overall seat capacity or Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs) was improved by 6.5% through effective deployment of the aircraft fleet to profitable markets by way of frequency optimization and utilizing right aircraft types.
Effective and timely management of aircraft deployment and flight frequencies on the basis of market dynamics allowed the Airline to optimize revenue amidst the increased competitive climate. Flight frequencies to markets such asLondon, Melbourne, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Delhi were increased to meet the seasonal demand and it proved to be aneffective strategy as the performance of these routes improved significantly.
SriLankan reaffirmed its commitment to growth of tourism by continuing with daily operations to Melbourne – Australia that saw Australia rising to the 5th highest tourist generator of 2018 ahead of some of the traditional tourist markets. In fact, Australian tourist arrivals increased by 36% in first 12 months since launch of SriLankan’s direct flight to Melbourne.
SriLankan Airlines’ online direct sales channel www.srilankan.com achieved a significant milestone by recording an overall penetration of 14% of the total network passenger revenue. This reflected the Airline’s consistent investment and commitment in optimizing nontraditional direct sales channels to drive the revenue up at lower incremental cost. The Airline expects to double the online direct sales contribution in two years.
Increase in passenger revenue would have been much higher if not for the depreciation of key revenue generating currencies which amounted to USD 9million during the period under review.Although a marginal reduction in total number of passengers carried (0.3%) was reported for the nine-month period, overall seat factor (network-wide seat occupation) remained at 82% of the capacity deployed.