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SriLankan launches Colombo-Melbourne nonstop beginning in October

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 29, 2017

SriLankan will operate to Melbourne using Airbus A330-200s. (Rob Finlayson)

Travellers will have a nonstop option between Australia and Sri Lanka from October when SriLankan Airlines commences Melbourne-Colombo flights with Airbus A330-200s.

SriLankan said the inaugural service would take off on October 29 2017, with Melbourne chosen for its first Australian destination as about half of all Sri Lankans who live in Australia reside in Victoria.

“Given the number of Sri Lankans residing in and around Victoria, we fulfil a long felt need for a direct service,” SriLankan chief executive Captain Suren Ratwatte said in a statement on Monday.

The daily flight has been scheduled an overnight service from Colombo, arriving in Melbourne in the afternoon the next day. The return flight is scheduled to takeoff from Tullamarine in early evening, for a late night arrival in the Sri Lankan capital.

The are no airlines flying nonstop between Australia and Sri Lanka.

Currently, SriLankan serves Australia one-stop through Kuala Lumpur or Singapore thanks to codeshares with fellow oneworld alliance members Malaysia Airlines and Qantas, respectively.

SriLankan chief commercial officer Siva Ramachandran said there had been a “steady increase” in passengers travelling between Australia and Sri Lanka on one-stop itineraries.


“Our direct services will give us a definite advantage as SriLankan is the only carrier that is able to offer connectivity of this nature at this time,” Ramachandran said.

“We also offer seamless onward connections beyond Colombo to a range of destinations in the Indian sub-continent and Middle East.”

Australia’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Bryce Hutchesson congratulated SriLankan for launching the new route.


“Direct air connections between countries stimulate two-way tourism, business, trade and people-to-people exchange which are the core ingredients for a vibrant bilateral relationship,” Hutchesson said.

Flight Number/Routing
Days of operation
Time of departure
Time of arrival

UL605 Melbourne-Colombo 




UL604 Colombo-Melbourne




Comments (18)

  • Lechuga


    Nice, Melbournes got a lot going for it this year.

  • Harrison


    Qantas Need Fly Melbourne To Santiago

  • David


    Qantas need to increase the number of 787’s beyond eight by mid 2019, so they can also increase the number of destinations they fly too. Codeshare services are fine, but many would prefer to fly Qantas, an Australian Airline, that employs Australians rather than a foreign carrier.

  • Rich


    This is the third time (as far as I’m aware) that UL has entred the MEL market, so let’s see how long it lasts.

  • Craig


    @David Qantas has delivery spots on the production line for more the 8 already on order. There are set deadlines for when Qantas is required to advise Boeing of their intentions. With the production line already mostly assigned to carriers, the ability of Qantas to increase the number quickly would be difficult.

    Qantas have already said that the intention is to bed down the operations of the first 8 before adding more aircraft.

  • Charomi perera


    Excellent ….we all love to hear that. My next trip will be sri lankan airways derect flight .
    Congratulations …..

  • Geoff


    This is yet another endorsement for Victoria and its Capital. Melbourne has a lot going for it, full-stop! It always has and always will. It is the second busiest airport in Australasia for international pax and it will surpass Sydney in the future.

    It is already the busiest domestic hub and has been for some time.

  • Christopher


    Daily flights from the start? Very ambitious! But good luck to them. I really hope these schedules provide seamless connections to/from Maldives and key Indian cities. London seems to be missed out as the lay over will be in excess of 11 hours in both directions.

  • Chris


    LATAM seems to be stealing Qantas’ marketshare with direct flights to Santiago from Melbourne starting later this year. Melbourne to Lima (peru) direct would be an option for Qantas with 787’s (1000km shorter than SYD to Dallas) with a lot more tourism and mining business opportunities in Peru

  • Mark


    @ Geoff, I think you will find Sydney still handles more domestic passengers than Melbourne. Also I highly doubt Melbourne will ever overtake Sydney as the busiest international port, just look at the sheer volume of flights Sydney has over Melbourne and Brisbane.

    Maybe Australian Aviation can provide some statistics?

    • australianaviation.com.au


      AA is happy to help. According to federal government statistics …
      1. Sydney Airport – 26.9mln domestic, 15.1mln international, 42mln total
      2. Melbourne Airport – 24.7mln domestic, 9.6mln international, 34.4mln total
      3. Brisbane Airport – 17.1mln domestic, 5.4mln international, 22.5mln total

  • Mark


    Thanks AA, love your work!! As confirmed Geoff, a sizeable 2.2 million passengers per year less on the domestic front and a massive 5.5 million less per year on the international front. There is no chance Melbourne will overtake Sydney in either area, but definitely not on the international front.

  • Lal


    Are there enough payload to break even flying to Colombo from Melbourne during the year? The load is good during Nov to mid Feb both ways, other months of the year it is almost nil or very little, so how can the airline make a profit? The CEO and CCO should do their home work before scheduling flights like this as they had better payload in europeaan fligjts and the Airline cancelled these flights. Like the previous times this schedule will not ladt even an year As ULis already in so much debt this a case of from frying pan to the fire??

  • Geoff


    Thanks Mark and AA.

  • Tracy de Riter


    Hello, direct flights to Sri Lanka will be wonderful. Do you have an estimate of the flight cost as yet?

  • Ian Deans


    Wow…..give me a quality Asian carrier anytime..they beat Qantas hands down.

    This is good news.. Melbourne is booming from these airlines when our “national flag carrier” can’t see beyond Sydney.

  • sdk


    come to Sydney more than 50000 sri Lankan live in Sydney, Sydney has better weather

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