Sri Lankan regional airline Cinnamon Air expects a significant boost from traffic resulting from the recent move by its codeshare partner, SriLankan Airlines, to join the Oneworld alliance. Owned by the Saffron Aviation joint venture among John Keels Holdings, MMBL Leisure Holdings and Phoenix Ventures, Cinnamon operates scheduled domestic services in the South Asian country, as well as charter flights.
SriLankan Airlines appears poised to expand its reach into the neighboring Indian air transport market after becoming the 14th member of One World alliance late last month. The move is a boost to a country trying to bounce back after a 25-year civil war and also makes SriLankan the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent to gain admission into a global airline alliance—ahead of rival operators in the far larger Indian market.
Sri Lanka’s second international airport–the $200 million China Exim Bank-funded Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA)–opened last month and has already attracted national carrier SriLankan Airlines and its subsidiary, SriLankan Cargo; Sharjah-based budget carrier Air Arabia; and flyDubai.
IndiGo, India’s largest budget carrier with a fleet of 48 Airbus A320 airliners, has awarded SriLankan Engineering its largest contract for maintenance of 26 C-checks through 2012. This is the fourth consecutive year IndiGo has outsourced to SriLankan and it is the largest overseas outsourcing of maintenance, repair and overhaul work by an Indian carrier. The contact has been awarded at a time when onerous taxes appear to be making Indian MRO providers uncompetitive.