#Travel: SriLankan Airlines eyes new routes to Africa

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sri lankan airlines

SriLankan Airlines is gearing up for new routes to Africa.

According to Business Times, the airline is looking to leverage on Chinese transit passengers via Colombo with new destinations to growing economic hubs for Chinese businesses in Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa.

“We’re looking to go to these places in Africa primarily to support the Chinese transit passengers there,” Kapila Chandrasena, CEO SriLankan told the Business Times on the sidelines of the launch of its new wide body A330-300 aircraft last week.

Chandrasena said currently the Sri Lankan national carrier is doing the analysis and modeling on routes to Africa. “We’ll be taking a decision on this by next winter,” he said.

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SUSAN WONG

Susan Wong is the Editor of Capital Lifestyle, a resident photographer, an award-winning journalist, radio presenter, full-time adventurer, long-time admirer of anything edible, and a spicy food athlete at Capital FM.

  • George

    But with poor customer services

  • George

    Emirates; Worst experience ever, (Its a joke that it won awards with these kind of services)

    31st December 2013 and 1st January 2014

    I have used emirates for the past ten years which has been offering relatively better services than the other airlines, however, I was shocked by the kind of services they are offering in the Kenya unit at Jomo Kenyatta international airport and also their call center at Dubai.

    On 31st December, 2013, I was to fly back to Japan via the Emirates as I had a return ticket to Japan I had purchased back in October. Due to uncontrollable circumstances, I arrived at the Kenyan airport at about 16:00 and my flight was at 16:40. To my surprise, there was no emirates employee at the counter and also at their office which is less than 10 meters from the counter.

    I had already checked in online but I couldn’t be let in to the boarding area and after some time lapse a certain person (Mr. X…) told me that all the Emirates employees had gone to the plane as it was preparing to take off, and since there was no emirates person to consult he advised that I stand at the entrance of their office and await the staff as he was very optimistic that they could book me in the next flight at 23:00.

    Once their staff came back, we discussed the situation and the staff told be that I could not use the night flight but I should come the following day at 13:00 and she gave me the flight schedule I was to use.

    Since one day delay could have had no major difference, I took the print out with me and decided to come in the following day as advised.

    I moved out and I told my family members the situation and the solution as I couldn’t doubt it as I had the print out with me. We took tea/coffee at the food kiosk which is just next to their office and during that time my sister told me that I shouldn’t rely on the advice from just one staff as most of the time they give independent solutions which in many cases were misleading.

    We decided to go again into the Emirates office and seek a second opinion from a different staff.

    The staff we consulted tried to alter my flight but gave up as he said they were unable to access the system, and the only alternative was to pay for another flight as by then the plane was taking off.

    I enquired if it was possible to catch up with the next connection flight from Dubai to Japan by booking another (independent) Nairobi-Dubai flight using any other airline and the Dubai-call unit said that it was not possible as the flight is always a package from Nairobi to Japan and not Dubai to Japan.
    I thus gave up on this and decided to look for another possibility;

    I tried to book and pay for another Emirate flight online but the process couldn’t go through as they said they were unable to access my bank for VISA payment which I had previously used for the payment of the Japan-Kenya-Japan return ticket in October.

    I gave up on that day and decided to search for an alternative route the following Day
    (31st Jan 2014).

    On 1st January, we contacted the Dubai unit and made a booking for a 16:40 flight which they claimed had only a few seats and since the payment wasn’t possible by VISA card, they demanded I go to their office at the Nairobi Airport immediately and pay cash as the reservation could be cancelled if I didn’t fulfill the condition.

    I hired a car and went to the airport as demanded and on arrival, I found the Emirates office closed and a message stating that for weekends they open at 11:00 and since 1st was a public holiday, we assumed the 11:00 opening would apply.

    I wondered why the Dubai unit had demanded we pay for the flight immediately at the airport office and thus called again to the Emirates office at Dubai to enquire the reason for the huge discrepancies,

    The response I got from the same Dubai office was more surprising as the said the Nairobi office was to be closed for the whole day,

    I gave up on the Emirates and sourced for another flight to Japan and I was lucky to find Kenya Airways/France Air flight within 30 minutes and paid for the one way flight for the same day,

    The Kenya Airways staff was also offering assistances to the Ethiopian airline clients whose flight had been cancelled and the offices were closed just as the Emirates.

    Emirates just as the Ethiopian air are on the bad trend and the Kenya Airways seems to be on the right path,

    If that is the way you will continue, I forecast a downward trend as what matters most is the customer services.

    All the trust I have had on the Emirates just evaporated overnight and I am not prepared to use it unless the disorganization is tackled.

    I now demand ;

    1) for the reimbursement of all the losses I underwent due to the poor customer services and the lost time from the Emirates,

    2) You retrain your staff so that they have a uniform and non misleading communications

    3) Your office and counters should offer services before, during and after flights at the specific airports you are operating instead of us having to contact the misleading Dubai offices.

    If you don’t, do it I am planning to take the necessary steps as we have recorded most of the misleading conversations.

    Mistreated client

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