web Musings of The Global Traveller

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How to get to | Sri Lanka

This is part of a series of blog entries on how to get to countries and places. Here is a link to the index. I plan to eventually cover every country and some other places. If you have a request for a particular country or place please use the email me link at top right, or leave a comment.

Sri Lanka

Source: Bernard Gagnon

The main way to reach Sri Lanka is by air. Airlines flying to Colombo include:
  • Star Alliance - Singapore, Thai
  • Oneworld - Cathay Pacific (from Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore), Royal Jordanian
  • Sky Team - none
  • Other selected - most Indian airlines, many Persian-Gulf and Malaysian airlines

TIP There is plenty of competition from Chennai, Bangkok and Singapore. If you cannot get a reasonable fare to Colombo from elsewhere in Asia or further afield check the option of separate tickets via one of these 3 places. Don't forget to allow plenty of time to connect (eg a day).

TIP There are not many low cost airlines flying to Colombo. Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur, a couple of European airlines during northern winter season and several Indian airlines.

TIP Around the world or longhaul award tickets to Colombo on Star Alliance or Oneworld are fairly easily obtained via Bangkok or Singapore, as long as the booking is made early enough. This may change as Sri Lanka returns to being a popular tourist destination now the Tamil-related violence is gone.

TIP Several airlines operate a triangle flight with short hop between Male and Colombo in either or both directions connecting to a longhaul destination in Europe, Middle East or Asia. If fares to/from Colombo are high check them to/from Male instead with a separate ticket for the extra flight.

TIP In the past Colombo has had very low longhaul premium (ie first and business class) fares (to North America, Europe or around the world). So low that many people travelled to Sri Lanka to get these cheap tickets. The best bargains are long gone due to fare increases and currency movements, however from time to time there are some cheap longhaul fares that are worthwhile as long as you can get to Sri Lanka cheaply or easily.

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