SriLankan Airlines will be removing its present fuel surcharge on fares throughout almost its entire route network effective from January 1, 2009 in order to pass on the benefits of reduced fuel prices on to passengers.

The airline will be completely removing its fuel surcharge on all tickets to short-haul and medium-haul destinations. These include all cities in India and the Middle East, as well as Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Beijing, Male, and Karachi.

The fuel surcharge on fares between Colombo and just five long-haul destinations – London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, and Tokyo – will also be greatly reduced. A flat rate surcharge of EUR 25 will be levied for one-way fares purchased in Europe, and EUR 50 for return tickets. Tickets purchased in the UK will have a surcharge of GBP 25 one-way and GBP 50 return. Fares from all other points to these five destinations will have a surcharge of US$25 one-way and US$50 return.

SriLankan introduced the fuel surcharge in July this year for short-, medium- and long-haul journeys when fuel prices reached a record high US$147 per barrel of crude. Fuel prices have declined in recent months.

The effects of crude oil price reductions take some time to impact on the cost of aviation fuel, and SriLankan is anticipating that it will begin reaping the benefit of reduced fuel prices by January 2009. The airline will nevertheless be closely monitoring the movement of fuel prices as this has a direct impact on profitability.

SriLankan has also significantly increased the fuel efficiency of its aircraft fleet, and has begun replacing its older aircraft with newer ones that are more fuel efficient. The first of its new Airbus A320’s arrived on November 30.

Sri Lanka’s award-winning airline now flies to 45 destinations in 25 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.