Archive | November, 2017

Aitken Spence Travels Partners TUI to Bring 12 Charter Flights from the UK

22 Nov

Aitken Spence Travels is attracting the only charter flight operation from the UK to Sri Lanka this season, with 12 flights scheduled to land from 14th November 2017 to 30th April 2018. The charter operated by TUI UK will see a Thomson Airways 300-seat Dreamliner bringing in 3,600 tourists from the UK over the course of five months.

Holidaymakers will be accommodated in 15 beach resorts from Waikkala to Hikkaduwa as well as in several hotels in Cultural Triangle, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya.

The charter operation is expected to generate more than 25,000 room nights to hotels in Sri Lanka during the season, giving a significant boost to the industry’s demand from the UK. As the official ground handler, Aitken Spence will be organizing logistics, transport, accommodation and tours of all the travellers.

The first flight which landed on Tuesday 14th November was warmly welcomed by Aitken Spence Travels at the Bandaranaike International Airport with traditional dancers.

This is the second consecutive year that Aitken Spence Travels has attracted the large charter operation from the UK. Previous to last year, the last charter from the UK market was in 2010. Since then it has taken much effort and dedication to convince the charter operators to resume their flights back to Sri Lanka considering the aggressive competition posed by competing destinations.

Tourist arrivals from the UK has shown steady growth over the last few years, growing by 16 per cent in 2016 to 188,159 while arrivals in 2017 till the month of September stood at 153,971, according to official sources.

“Aitken Spence Travels is the only destination management company in Sri Lanka to handle a charter from the UK. This is due to our longstanding partnership with TUI, a global giant in the tourism industry. A great amount of effort was made over the year to secure the charter for the second consecutive year despite tremendous competition from other destinations. Our commitment, consistency in service and agility displayed during the charter operation last year helped us secure the charter for Sri Lanka this year. Sri Lanka as a tourist destination needs to be promoted more aggressively among the UK public in order to capitalize on the efforts made by industry players”, said Prasanjit Perera, Vice President, Aitken Spence Travels.

Aitken Spence Travels to Bring 13 Charter Flights from Poland This Season

9 Nov

Strengthening a new front in its efforts to promote tourism to Sri Lanka, Aitken Spence Travels announced that it will be attracting 13 charter flights from Poland this season, with one arriving every 10 days till mid-March 2018.

The flights are a result of the longstanding partnership between TUI, the world’s largest integrated tourism company and Aitken Spence Travels.

Sri Lanka’s largest travel company said that the first of the charter flights arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Saturday the 4th November. The 189 Polish tourists were warmly welcomed by Aitken Spence Travels with lotus flowers and by a performance by traditional dancers.

A total of about 2400 Polish tourists are expected to arrive through this Charter operation generating an estimated 12,285 room nights, mostly at beach properties in the island.

“Despite the severe competition in the industry, we were able to convince TUI Poland to operate this charter flight with Aitken Spence Travels to Sri Lanka.  We will extend our fullest support to TUI Poland to promote the destination aggressively among their agents.  With the previous experiences that we have gained, we are confident that this charter operation will be a great success.  We will work with TUI Poland to strengthen our partnership to allow more Polish tourists experience Sri Lanka’s varied attractions”, said Niranjan Rodrigo, Vice President, Aitken Spence Travels.

Ireneusz Golabek, Head of Operations and Destination Services, TUI Poland said, “The TUI Polish charter will operate this winter season from Warsaw to Colombo. We are very happy and excited to be operating this charter with our long-standing destinations partner Aitken Spence Travels. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country and can offer much more than the Sun and Beach. I am confident and feel strongly that the Polish Travellers will also be excited to explore the beautiful nature and culture your country has to offer. The excursions developed by our destinations partner is exciting and very good. We will look at the feedback of our Polish customers to explore continuity. I am happy that we have managed to grow from a very small operation to what we are enjoying today and am hopeful that it will grow from strength to strength.”

Arrivals from Poland to Sri Lanka in 2013 was 9688, which grew by 38% to 13,370 in 2014. However, numbers stagnated to 13,245 in 2015, while picking up by 9% in 2016 to 14,432. Polish arrivals to Sri Lanka from January to September in 2017 has seen a drop of 2% year-on-year. The Aitken Spence – TUI Poland charter operation is expected to boost the tourism arrivals from Poland to Sri Lanka.

Aitken Spence Second Quarter PBT Up by 15%

9 Nov








Aitken Spence PLC posted Rs. 1.12 bn as profits before tax in the three months ended 30th September, an increase of 15.4% year-on-year. Profits attributable to equity holders of the company increased by 8% to Rs. 584 mn while revenue rose by 24.5% to Rs. 12.26 bn, in the quarter from last year.

Earnings per share for the quarter was Rs. 1.44, an increase of 2.3% over the corresponding period.

Financial results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Monday showed revenue of Rs. 23.9 bn for the six months ended 30th September 2017, a growth of 37.5% over the corresponding period last year.  Profit before tax for the six months rose by 23.8% to Rs. 1.8 bn, while profit attributable to equity holders of the company increased by 18.9% to Rs 939 mn.

Revenue from all four sectors, namely Tourism, Maritime & Logistics, Strategic Investments and Services, increased over the six months, compared to last year.

“The Hotels sector occupancy levels have improved over the past year, although yields have been challenging across the markets that we operate, especially in Sri Lanka and the Maldives”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

Aitken Spence initiated a waste-to-energy project in August this year that would add 10 MW to the national grid in two years, in addition to providing a long-term solution to the garbage disposal problem in the Colombo Municipality.

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC, a group company divested its entire holding in its fully owned subsidiary M.P.S. Hotels (Pvt) Ltd., on the 21st of September 2017. The resultant gain on disposal of this investment is reflected under other operating income.

Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, Aitken Spence is a blue-chip conglomerate with a strong regional presence in the Hotels, Travels, Maritime Services, Logistic Solutions, Plantations, Power Generation, Printing, Financial Outsourcing, Insurance, and Apparel sectors.