SriLankan Cargo set a new record for handling of freight at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport in 2006 with a total of 167,289 tonnes, an increase of 4.48 percent over the previous calendar year.
Nalin Rodrigo, head of SriLankan Cargo, said: "Our success is due to our expanded network throughout the Indian Subcontinent, coupled with promotional activities to increase awareness and confidence of our customers in the SriLankan Cargo brand. This is an excellent performance by the entire team at SriLankan Cargo, including our world-wide sales team and our team at BIA’s Cargo Centre. This was the 5th consecutive calendar year that we have set a new record at BIA."
"It is now crucial that we expand our cargo handling facilities at BIA very soon, since the existing warehouse is operating far beyond its designed capacity. We increased its capacity by adding an awning, but this too is now at its maximum capacity," said Mr. Rodrigo.
Total volumes handled by SriLankan Cargo at BIA have increased steadily from 102,497 tonnes in 2001, to 113,891 tonnes in 2002, 124,522 tonnes in 2003, 146,883 tonnes in 2004, and 160,118 tonnes in 2005.
SriLankan Cargo itself carried more than half of the total freight handled in 2006, while other airlines carried the rest.
"We have a lot of satisfied customers now, which is evident from the continuous growth of our business volumes. But we need to add capacity in order to keep these customers satisfied and entice more new customers," said Janaka Munasinghe, Manager Cargo Operations at SriLankan Cargo.
SriLankan Cargo has positioned Colombo as the Â¡®Hub in the Ocean’ linking the fast-growing Indian economy with the rest of the world, both for exports and imports. SriLankan is the largest foreign carrier into India, with 94 flights to 10 Indian cities – New Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Madras, Trichy, Trivandrum, Calicut, Goa and Kochi – flying on a daily or more frequent basis to each of them except for Goa, where services were launched just last year.
In addition to these flights with Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft, SriLankan Cargo also operates dedicated freighter services to several Indian cities and the Maldives, using an AN12F freighter.