Interview - Others

An Interaction with Mr.Asoka Pathirage, Chairman of Srilankan Airlines

Let's go the Sustainable Way

Srilankan is known for its hospitality. The airline believes in delighting the customers with a consistent and pleasant travel experience. Let’s know more about the airlines, in conversation with Mr. Asoka Pathirage Chairman of Srilankan Airlines.

SriLankan is one of the most preferred airlines of Asia. What makes it so special? Comment.

SriLankan Airlines has, over the years, earned a reputation for providing a warm and hospitable service to passengers on-board and that is a service aspect that we strive to maintain. Nothing pleases us more than to have our efforts in this regard validated by our customers themselves. SriLankan Airlines was voted as the Visitors’ Choice – Airline of the Year at the South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) 2022. SriLankan has also won numerous APEX Passenger Choice Awards® over the past two years for product attributes, such as food & beverage, seat comfort, onboard Wi-Fi and cabin services, in Central/Southern Asia. I think that these accolades symbolize what makes SriLankan Airlines special.

Planet Friendly SriLankan, or an airline dedicated to preserve nature for the future. Comment.

SriLankan Airlines has been a regional pioneer in championing for sustainable air travel. We were the first airline in Asia to introduce ‘Planet Friendly Flights’ back in 2009 and were named the second lowest carbon emitting airline in the Asia- Pacific in 2016, by Business Traveller. Last year, SriLankan launched its critically acclaimed signature upcycle project ‘Mathaka’ (memories in English), which was born from a need to minimize SriLankan’s ecological footprint by repurposing the airline’s scrap material, which would otherwise go into landfill, into lifestyle products. Project Mathaka beat out 118 other submissions to win the Best Aviation Sustainability Program Award at the recent Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (SMBR) Global Aviation Awards, in December 2022.

SriLankan Airlines is also currently working with social, academic and environmental groups to advance the study and conservation of blue carbon ecosystems that encapsulate our island. We recently organized a workshop for local scientists and professionals on mapping local seagrass meadows, using drone- imagery. Seagrass meadows can capture carbon up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests and for SriLankan Airlines, the decision to support seagrass conservation efforts was easy and fitting. The aviation industry has been grappling with carbon emissions for years and member airlines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) including SriLankan Airlines, have committed to fly net zero carbon by 2050.

Tell us about the new launches /partnerships the airline will be introducing in the coming year.

We are a member of the oneworld alliance, and we have a number of codeshares and interline deals with other carriers. We are continuously working to expand our existing airline partner base and provide more options to our passengers.