November, 5, 2019
Sri Lanka welcomed holiday-makers, journalists, and a top-tier trade delegation from Poland and across the EU, as the first ever LOT Polish Airlines (LOT) direct flight from Warsaw to Colombo touched down at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) Sunday (03).
Included in the distinguished list of passengers were the Republic of Poland’s Minister of Interior, Maciej Lang, Polish Ambassador to Sri Lanka, HE Adam Burakowski, LOT Polish Airlines Chief Commercial Officer, Michał Fijoł, and company spokesperson, Michał Czernicki, as well as Poland’s next Miss Universe and LOT Polish Airlines flight attendant, Olga Buława.
“All of us at LOT Polish Airlines are excited to join our local partners in celebrating the touchdown of our very first direct flight to Colombo. Given Sri Lanka’s rising prominence as a must-visit destination in Asia, we are confident the improved connectivity enabled by LOT’s 3 weekly flights will help increase tourist arrivals, whilst providing globetrotting Sri Lankans with a convenient and comfortable option for travelling to Poland, Central Europe or any other destinations we fly to,” LOT Polish Airlines Chief Commercial Officer, Michał Fijoł said.
LOT Polish working in partnership with the aviation sector of iconic Sri Lankan multinational conglomerate, Hayleys PLC, commenced its three flights weekly service from Warsaw to Colombo. This is just-in-time for the start of the peak winter tourist season and will continue till the end of March 2020.
“Hayleys is proud to give a warm Sri Lankan welcome to our very first group of travellers to fly on LOT Polish Airlines directly to Colombo. We thank each our honoured guests for choosing to visit and explore our beautiful paradise island, and we hope that you are able to return home having experienced true Sri Lankan hospitality. On behalf of the entire tourism industry, we also extend our sincere gratitude to LOT Polish Airlines for their support in further enhancing Sri Lanka’s connectivity to Poland and Central Europe, which we are confident will be of immense benefit to the entire tourism and hospitality sector,” Hayleys Chairman and Chief Executive, Mohan Pandithage said.
The new connection will be operated using the most modern wide-bodied aircraft in the world – the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Each aircraft offers passengers the choice between three service classes: LOT Business Class with armchairs unfolding to form a flatbed position and offering cuisine as good as the best restaurants; LOT Premium Economy Class features large comfortable seats, foot and thigh rests, cocktail tables and a rich menu, as well as LOT Economy Class which includes individual on-board entertainment screens and USB sockets as well as fresh and varied meals served during the voyage.
Annually, more than 1.8 million passengers travel between Europe and Colombo, while LOT hosted over 9 million passengers on its modern aircraft in 2018 alone and anticipates taking on board 10 million passengers in 2019, providing them with the most efficient and comfortable journeys from Warsaw to over 111 scheduled destinations on three continents worldwide.
Established in 1878 by Chas. P. Hayley as a trading house in Galle specialising in import and export, the Hayleys Group has since grown to serve as a centrepiece of the Sri Lankan economy while maintaining a global presence of manufacturing and marketing offices across 5 regions with business interests spanning a total of 16 sectors. Today it stands out as one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent success stories, having been the first listed Sri Lankan corporate to surpass US$ 1billion in revenue and accounting for 3.3% of the nation’s total export earnings.