SriLankan Airlines to become one of the Big Boys & they have a Childcare Stewardess too!
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to interview the charming chairman of Sri Lankan Airlines. As a bit of a plane geek, this suited me down to the ground. Not only do I like luxury hotels, for me, the getting there is already part of the holiday and the on board experience is important to me.
SriLankan Airlines is of course the national airline. They have become a firm favourite worldwide for service, comfort, reliability and safety worldwide. I have to be honest, the last time I flew with them was over ten years ago. Mr PCG and I had a wonderful two weeks travelling around Sri Lanka; visiting the one of the most amazing countries in the world. Amazing wildlife both on land and in the sea, a fascinating colonial past which adds depth to its history and historical sites, tea country and hill stations and the amazing service and friendliness that you only get in Asia.
Sri Lanka today is a safe destination to visit and one great for kids too so back to my interview with the chairman and a little more about getting there in luxury with your family. I hope to be able to experience this first hand soon and report back!
SriLankan, has a section dedicated to childcare on its site – something that you rarely see. They offer a ‘childcare stewardess’ there to amuse kids throughout the journey- amazing! Nishantha Wickremasinghe, its Chairman sees her as a playmate for the kids, there to keep them occupied. On board they carry milk, baby food, nappies, cookies and have a huge array of inflight entertainment. I asked him about children flying in business class and refreshingly he said that they were welcome and encouraged, that it is only the very few people who get disturbed, of course we were all children once and most of us have children at some stage. Nice to know too that they have a new business class cabin with fully flat beds rolled out across almost all the fleet. They fly to many destinations including the elusive Maldives, where there are almost no direct flights to.
One issue that I have had with travelling with SriLankan was the fleet age – 10.8 years, which is quite old nowadays. I am happy to report that by October next year the fleet will have been upgraded to an average age of 5.5years and I cannot wait exemplary service with brand new planes-brilliant! The airline will also become a full member of the One World Alliance by April 2014 so it just gets better and better. At last they can compete with the big boys and we get a better choice of airline as consumers.
100% owned by SriLankan is the tour operator SriLankan Holidays, they offer affordable travel and well worth a look once you have an idea of what you want out of a Sri Lankan holiday.
SriLankan also does a lot of charitable work. They are are sponsoring Ian Botham’s 160km walk, ‘Beefy’s big Sri Lanka Walk’ with money going to help young people and regenerate communities. Not only this but also a partnership with whale and dolphin conservation which is ongoing. For this, they are selling ‘Marissa the Whale’ soft toys with proceeds going to the charity. Lastly, they are also supporting the launch of an amazing wildlife book, ‘Wild Sri Lanka’. By renowned wildlife author Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne it is prefaced by Bill Oddie and published in the UK. If that isn’t enough to get you on the plane and out to the most gorgeous country on earth, I don’t know what is!