Above: Customers flying with BA from Gatwick have access to the airline’s dedicated check-in facilities.
After a 14-year hiatus, the UK’s national carrier is to resume flying to Sri Lanka. The decision was taken in March 1998 to suspend the London-Colombo service due to security threats to airlines made by the country’s armed separatist group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam—a situation that has changed since the Sri Lankan government put down the 25-year-long rebellion in uncompromising fashion in 2009.
Silla Maizey, managing director of British Airways’ Gatwick operation, said “The UK has the second largest number of tourists visiting [Sri Lanka] after India so it’s a fantastic opportunity for them to fly there with British Airways from Gatwick.”
The first service from London Gatwick Airport to Colombo, via Malé, will take off on March 31, with three flights a week operated by the company’s Boeing 777 aircraft every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. It will be an extension to BA’s existing route to The Maldives.
Visitor numbers to Sri Lanka have risen sharply recently and the government expects to welcome a record one million tourists to the country this year.
The route is open for reservation—Return flights start from US$935 in World Traveller, US$2,000 in World Traveller Plus and US$3,510 in Club World.