Airline Startup Of The Week: Sri Lanka’s Private FitsAir
Colombo — The Sri Lankan aviation industry is about to welcome a new budget airline within the coming weeks, as FitsAir is gearing up to operate its first international commercial flights in the first week of October. FitsAir is backed by Aberdeen Holdings and will also become the country’s first-ever privately-owned airline, signifying a double milestone for the Sri Lankan aviation industry.
While FitsAir might be a new airline startup, it is also the successor of what was formerly known as ExpoAviation or ExpoAir. Under the previous name, ExpoAir’s origins began approximately 25 years ago in 1997 as a cargo carrier, when the first operations were conducted with a leased cargo aircraft flying from Sri Lanka to the Maldives.
By 2000, ExpoAir had three aircraft in its fleet and was expanding its cargo operations to neighboring India and across the Indian Ocean to Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. It was only until June 2002 that ExpoAir grew into daily scheduled domestic passenger flights but was still operating mainly cargo srervices. However, the airline ceased operations in March 2013.
According to FitsAir officials, the new airline startup is determined it make air travel within Sri Lanka more affordable, given the country’s current economic situation. To do this, FitsAir focuses on the basic product of giving a comfortable seat to get its passengers to their destination with minimum or no fuss where possible.
With four aircraft already in its fleet, FitsAir is prepared to welcome passengers and take off for international skies. Commencing on October 5th, the budget carrier will operate its first flight from Colombo to Dubai, followed by flights to Male beginning on October 10th. Flight services to Trichy will begin shortly after on October 28th. FitsAir will operate three weekly flights to each of these destinations.
All flight services will be operated on its fleet of Airbus A320-200 aircraft, with a seating capacity of 164 to allow the airline to offer approximately 984 seats on each route weekly. The aircraft have already been retrofitted with 156 seats in economy class and eight seats in Economy Plus, which features wider seats, more leg room, and inclusive in-flight meals. Economy class tickets come with light refreshments.
( From Simpleflying)