News ≫ SriLankan looking forward to major connectivity expansion in China: COO

SriLankan looking forward to major connectivity expansion in China: COO

Sep 8, 2016
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email
SriLankan Airlines’ Chief Commercial Officer Siva Ramachandran, a seasoned aviation professional, well-versed in all aspects of the industry, recently shared his insights on the industry and the Airline’s future focus with two leading Chinese publications, The Beijing News and Jiang Nan Tourism News. Following are excerpts of the interviews:
Q: Please updateus on SriLankan Airlines’ plans for the Chinese market?
A: In 2005, SriLankan Airlines began operations to China, which soon expanded from one station to four – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kunming and from three weekly flights to 18. The newly-signed bilateral agreement allows SriLankan Airlines to increase the number of weekly flights from 21 to 70.
The airline also plans to expand its business by entering second-tier cities and establishing more stations. At the same time, the airline has planned a lineup of promotional activations to enhance its presence in China.
Q: What are your thoughts on the airlines’ contribution to tourism in Sri Lanka in relation to your presence in China?
A:Sri Lanka is a beautiful tropical island with abundant resources for tourism and SriLankan Airlines has developed rapidly in the Chinese market.
80% of the passengers SriLankan Airlines carries from China are leisure tourists. Other than strengthening the network, SriLankan Airlines aims to offer Chinese tourists better services and greater convenience.
For instance, we plan to provide customized services to Chinese tourists in the future.
This year, SriLankan Airlines has carried out a series of significant activities in China, including a partnership with China Union Pay, launching the Chinese website and inviting bloggers to TBCasia.
Q: Celebrities and Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) are very important when it comes to promotions.Does SriLankan Airlines have a plan to involve them in future marketing activities in China?
A: As you rightly stated celebrities are immensely effective in branding and promotions. In India and Sri Lanka we have worked with celebrities in the entertainment and sporting industry to promote the Airline, which was well-received. In the future SriLankan Airlines may look into collaborating with Chinese celebrities, to increase brand awareness and visibility in the China market.
Prior to selecting celebrities to represent our brand, we will need to conduct comprehensive research in to their social media presence and their overall influence on society to ensure their image is in line with our brand values.
Q: In the future will there be more collaborative promotional activities by SriLankan Airlines and Sri Lanka Tourism in China?
A: In our plan for 2017 we have more promotional activities lined up, such as road shows and familiarization trips planned in collaboration with Sri Lanka Tourism to attract more tourists from China. At the same time, we encourage tour operators to offer a variety of packages to attract diversified tourist segments.
Q: What are your favourite pastimes?
A:Sports keep me energetic. I enjoy basketball, rugby and cricket, etc. In particular, cricket, the unofficial national sport in Sri Lanka. I carry the spirit of sportsmanship with me in order to achieve great results.

Latest News