Trivendrum, January 30:

With the airport here preparing to receive more international carriers from next month, Sri Lankan Airlines (SLA) has slashed by 30 per cent fares to Southeast Asian destinations.

The fares are valid for all passengers flying out from the Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin and Kozhikode airports. “The economy class return fare to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore is Rs 8,935 Sri Lankan Currency (SC) for Bangkok it is Rs 9,365 (SC) Hong Kong Rs 13,575 (SC) and Beijing Rs 12,970 (SC),” said Asha Subramanian of Sri Lankan Airlines in a release issued here Monday.

Sri Lankan Airlines is the only international airline that operates from the three airports in Kerala with 32 flights every week. Reports indicate that Sri Lankan Airlines has come out with these new low fares to take on the competition from Emirates Airlines, which is commencing operations from here February 2. The other new carriers that are to arrive here shortly include Al-Ittihad, Saudi Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.

Currently, Air India, Indian Airlines and the national carriers of six countries operate 70 flights every week.

Consequent to the new airlines, the airport here is all set to receive 30 more flights every week, which would make the total number of flights every week cross 100. The travel trade industry is buoyed by the increase in flights and expects the traffic to go up from 1.2 million passengers annually to 1.7 million. The Thiruvananthapuram airport has its catchment area from Madurai in Tamil Nadu and up to three districts in central Kerala.