Colombo Airport (BIA) is one of the best airports in the region but needs to expedite its expansion work to attract next generation airlines in the future, Qatar Airways (QA) Regional Manager Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and the Maldives Rajeewa Jayaweera said.
He said that AirBus A 380 flight Super Jumbos one of the latest new generation high-density flight which will come into play in the future. Therefore, runway of the Colombo Airport needs to be broadened to attract such aircraft in the future, Jayaweera said.
Sri Lanka has to be competitive in the region, as most of airports are coming up well in most of the countries in the world. With these trends, Colombo Airport need to be upgraded to attract next generation airlines in the future, he said.
Speaking to the Daily News Business said QA is one of the youngest and many modern fleet of aircraft in the skies today. Therefore, expansion is phenomenal with ongoing orders for more than 200 aircraft worth over US$ 30 billion.
They have also ordered latest next generation flights like Airbus A 380-800s for delivery from 2010, he said.
He said that their latest aircraft type, Boeing 777s features QA next generation Oryx Entertainment in flight entertainment system offering every passenger in both Business and Economy Class, a choice of more than 700 audio and video options.
Jayaweera said that at this point of time they are not looking at increasing the routes in Sri Lanka and looking at consolidate its position in Sri Lanka by attracting Sri Lanka travellers going out of the country.
Sri Lanka is a good market for them and they are consistent at all times despite the country s uncertain situation, he said.
The Regional Manager said that they have a healthy cabin factor for different types of markets and have been consistenting all the time to maintain scheduled in all flights. At present they have 65 aircraft in the fleet will cross the 100 threshold soon being among the top 30 airlines, in the world, he said.
QA will hope to have 120 Aircraft by 2012 to fly more than 81 destinations including Europe, USA, Asian and African regions. Therefore they practise a revenue management system to sell based on different levels of air fares to their passengers, he said.
According to Jayaweera they have a loyalty card system for frequent flyers and also signed with other airlines including Kingfisher Airlines, Lufthansa, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic which could earn miles for passengers .