OneWorld Airline Sri Lankan has some fantastic Business Class fares available for travel between Paris and a variety of cities in Asia. I’m going to guess that as soon as some of you read the words “Sri Lankan” you started to tune out…but you really shouldn’t. I’ll go into why in more detail later in the post but, for now, just know that one of the destinations you can fly to at this price is the Maldives and you’d be flying in a very new Business Class cabin.
Sri Lankan Business Class Deals From Paris (CDG)
Sri Lankan, unsurprisingly, uses Colombo as its one and only hub so all of its flights run through that city. At the moment the airline is offering some very attractive Business Class between Europe and Asia via its home hub.
- Male (Maldives): $1,617/£1,126/€1,454
- Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia): $1,620/£1,128/€1,457
- Bangkok (Thailand): $1,625/£1,131/€1,461
- Singapore: $1,628/£1,133/€1,465
- New Delhi (India): $1,643/£1,144/€1,477
Main Fare Details:
- Maximum stay: 1 month
- No stopovers allowed
- Fares valid for travel between 15 March and 15 December 2016
- Fares must be booked by 15 April 2016
How To Find The Fares
As always, I used the ITA Matrix search facility to find these fares and, should you need any help using this tool, you could do worse than read this basic introduction to ITA Matrix and this slightly more advanced post I wrote a few months back.
These are the search parameters I used with ITA Matrix:
Play around with the parameters until you get the ones that suit you best but be sure to use the advanced routing codes option and insert the code for Sri Lankan airlines (UL) together with the “+” symbol. These will restrict your search to just this specific airline and will make sure that you’re shown all options and won’t restrict the search to non-stop routings (which will return no results because they don’t exist)
Most of the fares don’t force unreasonably long stopovers in Colombo but be sure to filter the search results properly to make sure you’re not leaving yourself with half a day between flights.
Also, be aware that the Matrix tool may, in a few rare instances, not always show the optimum connection times so, if a connection seems unduly long, make sure you enter your desired dates into a site like Orbitz and check there too.
Here are a few example flights (click to enlarge)….
For anyone wondering how easy these fares are to find on an actual booking site the answer is that it’s easy. As soon as you have the dates from the Matrix search plug them into your choice of online flight booking site and the results should appear.
Here are some results from Orbitz (click to enlarge):
Sri Lankan Business Class A330-300
Not only are these fares very good indeed but the aircraft that operates the Paris-Colombo route is very good too.
Sri Lankan Airlines operates their Airbus A330-300 aircraft on the Paris Colombo route and that aircraft comes equipped with the airline’s latest Business Class cabin.
Screenshot courtesy of ExpertFlyer
Set out in a 1-2-1 layout all seats in the Business Class cabin come with direct aisle access:
Sri Lankan A330-300 Seat Map – Courtesy of ExpertFlyer
I’m struggling to find any non-copyrighted images of the cabin but, if you want to take a look, check out Lucky’s review of the aircraft.
With 28 Business Class seats in reverse herringbone pattern the cabin is reminiscent of the American Airlines 777-300 Business Class cabin…..
…or even the Finnair Business Class cabin on their new A350 aircraft:
Put simply, this is one of the best styles of cabin you can get and blows away most of the Business Class seats you find across the Atlantic.
Do not dismiss this airline just because it isn’t one of the in-vogue carriers right now. This is a very good Business Class cabin.
Sri Lankan Airlines Business Class to The Maldives
I know that quite a few readers will be interested in this route so I thought I’d show an example fare between Paris and Male.
That’s $1,617/£1,126/€1,454 for a Business Class fare from Paris all the way through to Male – that’s fantastic value. And if you’re wondering how easy the fare is to find online…the answer is “very easy”:
Even the stopovers are gentle with around 2 hours in Colombo in either direction.
The flight from Paris to Male will have the aforementioned A330-300 (A333) aircraft but, while the aircraft from Colombo to Male is still a wide-body (if you select the right flight), it’s an Airbus A330-200 (A332)…..
……which will not have the reverse herringbone Business Class seats. But do you really care for a flight lasting just 1 hour and 25 minutes?
There are some great fares here when you consider the standard of Business Class seating you’ll be getting between Paris and Colombo. Fares under $1,700 to these Asian destinations aren’t too uncommon but this is a very big window of travel for which the fares are valid.
I’m probably going to need one more paid flight to sew up American Airlines Executive Platinum status (EXP) for next year and, with the new Park Hyatt in Bangkok possibly opening in 4Q 2016, I’m very tempted with the fare to Bangkok.
With a trip distance of 13,520 miles I would earn 16,900 redeemable AAdvantage Miles and 20,280 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) which would easily see me past the 100,000 EQM requirement to retain EXP status for 2017. That’s not bad for $1,625 in a very comfortable Business Class cabin.