The joyous and colourful event was kicked-off with a cultural Malaysian dance at the Hilton Colombo.
The momentous event was witnessed by Dato Sri Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia Berhad, High Commissioner of Malaysia to Sri Lanka Rosli Ismail, Hussein A Bhaila, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sri Lanka, and Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Bernard Goonetilleke whom were joined by the Senior Management from AirAsia Berhad.
Colombo which is AirAsia's third destination in South Asia will complement AirAsia's aggressive growth in that market besides feeding more traffic to both countries. AirAsia currently flies from Kuala Lumpur to two destinations in South Asia Dhaka, India and Bangladesh which started in March 2009 followed by Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) in South India that commenced in December 2008.
With excellent air connectivity between Colombo and Kuala Lumpur, mutual economic benefits can be expected as AirAsia's low fares and innovative services will definitely stimulate more travel both inbound and outbound from these two destinations. The Sri Lankan people could also take advantage of Kuala Lumpur as the connecting gateway to over 130 routes in Asia and beyond.
Fernandes said: "Colombo has long been on our network radar and we are very proud to liberalise the market to the world. We have sold approximately 30,000 seats since we opened for sale about two months ago.
"This is indeed a clear testament that AirAsia's low fares have empowered people to fly. We are excited to play a key role in promoting Colombo's beautiful city and people to the rest of the world."
He asserted that AirAsia has been promoting Colombo aggressively to Malaysians, across Asean region and even beyond to destinations such as Australia and United Kingdom.
He added that in fact, they have also included Colombo in their recent Big Sale campaign and cross sell it to other destinations.
"We are also promoting Colombo on our website, AirAsia.com. We are certain that Colombo will definitely leverage from the huge exposure gained from these initiatives.
"Our current network already covers Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, China, India, Australia and United Kingdom," concluded Fernandes.
Goonetilleke said: "Today's launch signifies an important milestone in the field of aviation and tourism to Malaysia as well as Sri Lanka."
He added that the launch of daily flights to Colombo from Kuala Lumpur will be mutually beneficial to both AirAsia and Sri Lanka Tourism, as they can expect a considerable increase in both inbound and outbound travel to both destinations, which bodes well for tourism in both Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
AirAsia has begun the daily direct flights departing from Low-Cost Carrier Terminal from August 15, 2009 with the new 180-seater Airbus A320 which are well-known for its comfortable leather seats and wide aisles.
AirAsia guests may enjoy easy payment and booking channels: online at www.airasia.com, via mobile phone at mobile.airasia.com, at sales counters in all airports the airline flies to, sales offices in major cities, and through sales agents.
AirAsia through its holiday division GoHoliday, goholiday.airasia.com is also offering some great online hotel deals where they may choose their holiday lodgings from over 50,000 hotels to suit their budget.
The Brunei Times