LONDON – Competing against Sri Lanka’s flag carrier airline, new Sri Lankan airline FitsAir commences operations.
On October 5th, FitsAir commenced operations as a low-cost carrier and had its first inaugural flight to Dubai from its base at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport.
The airline will be flying from Colombo-Dubai three times a week using its dry leased A320-200 aircraft from October 10th.
History of FitsAir
FitsAir (Formerly known as Expo Air) was founded in 1997 and began operations in 1998 as a cargo airline. It began using 2 Antonov AN-8 aircraft, which were later replaced by An-12s.
In 2001, Expo Aviation started domestic operations in Jaffna using Ilyushin Il-18 and Antonov An-26 aircraft.
Soon after this, the airline was renamed ExpoAir. In 2002, the carrier began daily scheduled domestic passenger flights but was mainly operating cargo services.
A few years after this, ExpoAir applied to the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka to operate international air cargo services to various cities in Australia, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Fast forwarding to 2012, they launched passenger flights from Ratmalana Airport to Jaffna airport using a Cessna 208 Caravan.
Deciding to enter the regional passenger market
In 2021, the airline decided it wanted to enter the scheduled regional passenger market using a fleet of 3 A320-200s.
FitsAir has decided to enter the market at a time when the national carrier Sri Lankan Airways is struggling with the financial side of things. FitsAir’s sim is to make Air travel within the country more affordable.
According to their website, “Our passion is to delight our customers by providing right cost air travel and seamless aviation services whilst deriving the best value to all our stakeholders.”
They are to offer reduced fairs on their passenger flights and reduced baggage fees along with some complimentary refreshments on board.
Vice president of passenger operations, Peter Hill Murray, said, “FitsAir will cater to the needs of the modern Sri Lankan traveler who wants competitive fares, an in-flight service that is efficient without any ‘frills’ combined with options of baggage allowance, where you do not pay for the weight of baggage which you carry – where there is no obligation to pay the full fair if your baggage is less in weight.”
“The premise is that we do not want to waste a passenger’s time, money, or energy in the process of traveling.”
“However, in true Sri Lankan hospitality, all passengers will get a complimentary refreshment pack, although substantial meals, beverages, and snacks will be available for purchase on board plus pre-bookings.”
Expanding the airline’s routes
On October 28th, the airline will commence yet another inaugural flight to Tiruchirappalli International Airport (TRZ) in India. This route is scheduled to operate 3x weekly.
FitsAir is expected to be launching more routes during the coming months/years out of their three bases, Ratmalana Airport, Jaffna Airport, and Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport.
FitsAir is off to a good start in the regional passenger market with many upcoming inaugural flights.
I can see a good future ahead of them, especially with the low fares and services that they are offering.