By: Nalin Jayetileke
French flag carrier, Air France, returns to Sri Lanka today (5 November) with three weekly direct flights between Paris and Colombo. This is After nearly 30 years of being out of its operations form Sri Lanka.
As a continuation of the flight from Male, Air France have added Colombo to its long-haul network as a seasonal operation in the winter schedule of 2021-22. The Aircraft that is used for this operation will be relatively a new Aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 which the airline had purchased in 2017. Boeing 787-9 aircraft seats up to 279 passengers, featuring 30 seats in Business, and 21 in Premium Economy.
The Aircraft 787-9 used is said to be unique with its raked wingtip, where the wing sweeps upwards at the end. It’s designed to give the aircraft more fuel efficiency and allow it to climb better with ease and is probably the first Aircraft with such capability seen in commercial flying. Air France operates a fleet of 214 aircraft, mostly Airbus. Its narrow-body fleet consists of all four Airbus A320ceo family variants, while its long-haul operations are served by the Airbus A330, Airbus A350, Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 wide-body aircraft. Sri Lanka operation falls on to its long-haul category , hence the use of a 787.
A real positive for Sri Lanka at a time when the country is trying its best to see that we attract more and more tourist and seal Sri Lanka as a much sorted after Tourist destination. Air Frances expansion of its network to more tourist destinations has been the reason behind its commencement of operations in Sri Lanka and have described Sri Lanka as a key destination in the minds of European travelers.