Emirates lends support to Sri Lankan tourism industry

DUBAI — Emirates airline has invested $1.5 million for an Emirates Lounge at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayaka, that was opened with a pledge to support Sri Lanka’s tourism industry through award-winning air services.

By (Staff Report)

Published: Tue 19 Jun 2012, 10:46 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:40 PM

Tim Clark, president of Emirates airline, and Mohammed Mattar, divisional senior vice-president Airport Services, joined Mahmood Mohammed Al Mahmood, the UAE Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratna and senior aviation sector officials to open the facility, the first to be set up at BIA by an international airline.

Speaking at the event, Clark said the investment by Emirates of $1.5 million in this premium lounge is a further value addition to the airline’s offering in Colombo, as well as to the facilities at the BIA.

“Emirates is happy to make this investment, which also reflects our optimism about the prospects for growth in post-conflict Sri Lanka,” he said.

“I understand that more international hotel chains are building in Sri Lanka and that the tourism infrastructure is being upgraded. Sri Lanka will therefore progressively attract tourists from the more affluent segments. MICE traffic is also increasing, and the country is attracting the attention of investors from many parts of the world.”

“These developments are of particular relevance to Emirates, which is one of the most active international carriers serving this country,” Clark said. “We look forward to continuing to play a significant role in the growth of Sri Lanka, a country we have served with award-winning air services for 26 years,” he added. In his address, Mattar said: “For Emirates, passenger comfort is top priority, both in the air and on the ground. This lounge is an illustration of this commitment.”

“These dedicated lounges play a very important part in helping cushion our passengers, especially those embarking on long-haul flights, from travel weariness. Every effort is taken, therefore, to understand the needs of air travellers and to exceed their expectations in meeting them,” Mattar said.

Designed, equipped and furnished to the exacting specifications developed for Emirates lounges at 28 other major international airports around the world, the 5,778-square-foot Emirates Lounge at the BIA can accommodate up to 118 passengers in comfort. It is for the exclusive use of the airline’s First Class and Business Class passengers and Gold members of Skywards, Emirates’ frequent flyer programme. The lounge features 58 leather armchairs, a dining area for 54 people and a Business Centre.

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