Businessman Ashok Pathirage new Chairman of SriLankan Airlines

Businessman Ashok Pathirage has been appointed as the new Chairman of SriLankan Airlines.

Pathirage today confirmed that he received the appointment.

Pathirage heads the Softlogic Holdings which owns and operates several companies in the healthcare, leisure, retail, ICT automobile and financial services sectors

SriLankan Airlines has been operating at a major loss over the past few years.

The airline said today that it is adding 18 more new cities in Europe, North America, South America and the Middle East through the expansion of its codeshare agreement with its oneworld partner Qatar Airways, bringing its global route network to 127 destinations in 56 countries.

Vipula Gunatilleka, Group Chief Executive Officer of SriLankan Airlines said: “SriLankan is delighted to introduce many new travel options to our valued customers around the world. We have built a strong partnership with Qatar Airways overthe years and we regard Qatar as an airline of first class quality and excellence whom our customers would be very comfortable flying with.”

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Since 2016 both airlines have witnessed the significant benefits codeshare cooperation has brought, providing passengers with unrivalled service and seamless connections. The expansion of codeshare cooperation between Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines is a natural next step in the strengthening of our close partnership.”

SriLankan passengers would have new options via Qatar’s hub in Doha to Helsinki (Finland), Belgrade (Serbia), Budapest (Hungary), Larnaca (Cyprus), Warsaw (Poland), Casablanca (Morocco), Lisbon (Portugal), Gothenburg (Sweden), Brussels (Belgium), Venice (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), Kyiv (Ukraine), Munich (Germany), Prague (Czech Republic), Dublin (Ireland), Madrid and Malaga in Spain, Edinburgh and Birminghamin the United Kingdom, Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece,  the Turkish cities of Ankara, Istanbul (Sabiha Airport), Antalya and Izmir, Sao Paulo (Brazil), Montreal in Canada, and the U.S. cities of Washington D.C, Chicago, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Boston.Qatar Airways will codeshare on SriLankan Airlines flights to Gan Island in the Maldives via Colombo.

Joshua Bustos, Chief Commercial Officer of SriLankan said: “SriLankan Airlines passengers now have the option of seamless long distance travel via Doha with one leg on SriLankan and the other on Qatar Airways, all through one travel booking. The same is true for Qatar Airways passengers to Gan Island via Colombo.”

Both Qatar Airways and SriLankan are members of the prestigious oneworld global airline partnership, which connects travelers to over 1,000 cities in 160 countries through its oneworld 13 world-class airlines.

SriLankan is firmly established as one of the leading airlines in the Indian Ocean region, being the largest carrier to both Sri Lanka and the Maldives, and the largest foreign airline in India, with its hub in Colombo.

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