Airlines and Aviation
Chinese airline launches first ever non-stop service linking China with the Sri Lankan capital in February 2015. Colombo is the air carrier's 4th travel destination in South Asia.
Air China will launch direct service on 10 February 2015 linking Chengdu, Sichuan, in Western China with Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, an island nation southeast of India.
Airbus 330 aircraft will be used on the route, which will operate 4 times a week.
Colombo will be the Chinese airline's 4th travel destination in South Asia. The carrier already flies to Bangalore, India; Kathmandu, Nepal; and Mumbai, India.
Up until now, airline passengers wanting to travel between Southwest China and Sir Lanka had to change planes in Bangkok, Thailand; Beijing, China; Hong Kong; Shanghai, China; or Singapore.
The new route will shave 4 and one half hours off their flight time.
Business and First Class passengers flying on the route will be entitled to a free chauferred transfer between the airport and downtown Chengdu;
Business and First Class passengers on an international flight segment with flight connectgions in Chengdu will be entitled to a complimentary stay in a 5 star hotel;
All passengers with flight connections in Chengdu will be entirled to a complimentary stay in a 5 star hotel.
Chengdu is the provincial capital of Sichuan province in Western China. The 4th largest city in China, Chengdu has a population of more than 14 million people in the metropolitan area.
Chengdu is an important centre of commerce, communications, and tourism. In addition to several important heritage sites and E'Mei Mountain, the city is also a short drive from the Panda Breeding and Research Center, one of China's most important tourist attractions.
Located 16 kilometres, or 10 miles southwest, of downtown Chengdu, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is an important hub not only for Air China, but also for Chengdu Airlines and Sichuan Airlines. The airport handled 34,500,000 airline passengers in 2013.
United Airlines launched nonstop service linking the airport with San Francisco International Airport in 2014.
Other international air carriers serving the airport include Air Asia, which has flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; All-Nippon Airways, which has flights to Tokyo-Narita; Asiana Airlines, which has flights to Seoul-Incheon; Etihad Airway, which has flights to its hub at Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates; Qatar Airways, which links the airport with its hub in Doha, Qatar; Thai Airways, which offers flight to Bangkok, Thailand, Vietnamese Airlines, which flies to Da Nang and Hanoi, Vietnam, and several others.
Sri Lanka 101
The capital and largest city of Sri Lanka, Colombo has a population of 4.6 million people in the metropolitan area and nearly 753,000 in the city proper.
Owing to a 3 decades long civil war, Sri Lanka was long avoided by tourists. Now that the war has ended, international travellers are re-discovering the country.
With its kilometres of coastline, sandy beaches, heritage architecture, tea estates, abundant wildlife, and ancient culture, Sri Lanka is becoming an increasingly popular travel destination.
Colombo is served by 2 airports. Bandaranaike International Airport, a.k.a. as Colombo International Airport, is a hub for Sri Lanka Airlines.
International airlines serving the airport include Air India, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airway, Jet Airways Korean Air, Malaysian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways, among others.
Colombo's other airport is mostly used for domestic flights, but international service is in the pipeline.
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