Sri Lanka flights - cheap international flight tickets and hacker fares to Colombo

Sri Lanka is open to international tourism

Sri Lanka reopened its border to foreign tourists in June 2021. All travelers can enter the country quarantine-free; the requirement of pre-departure and on-arrival PCR tests has been removed.

Most tourists visiting Sri Lanka must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) in advance to receive a visa on arrival. Citizens of Maldives, Seychelles, and Singapore are exempt from the ETC requirement and are entitled to a free visa on arrival.

Transiting through Sri Lankan airports is permitted, as long as the connecting flight is within 10 hours of arrival (you’ll still need an ETA document). If you want to leave the airport between flights or if you’re planning a stopover in Sri Lanka, you should apply for a Transit Visa that allows staying in the country for up to 2 days.

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Sri Lanka:

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Arriving in Sri Lanka

  • If you are flying to Sri Lanka from abroad, you will most likely land at one of its biggest international airportsits main international airportBandaranaike International Airport CMB in Colombo.

    These are also the best (and the cheapest) airports to fly into Sri Lanka. As they are used by many airlines serving the same routes, the competition for passengers is fierce – with decreased airfare as a result.


  • Once in Sri Lanka, take advantage of frequent flights between the major cities via domestic airlines such as SriLankan Airlines, Cinnamon Air, Helitours, Senok Air, and Fly Southern. To check flight schedules/prices and to book the tickets, visit their official websites — OTAs and flight search engines often don’t have access to the flight repository of smaller local airlines. They also often fail to update prices in the event of short-lived sales and promotions that airlines run from time to time. To not miss out on these great offers, visit Promo Radar which aggregates current promotions run by popular airlines.
  • Planning to explore the region? Popular destinations near Sri Lanka can be easily reached with low-cost regional airlines (LCCs) by the likes of Air Arabia, AirAsia, Air India, Bamboo Airways, Flydubai, Flynas, IndiGo, Nok Air, Scoot, and Vistara.

    These budget carriers offer flights from Colombo Airport at lower prices than full-service airlines, and they often fly to smaller airports that big players do not cover. However, the “no-frills” airlines may not provide free checked baggage allowance, complimentary food, in-flight entertainment systems, and fast customer support; you may not even get to choose your seats (unless you pay extra). With that in mind, they are a great option to save money if you have a stopover in Sri Lanka and then fly only a short distance to one of its neighboring countries.
Best airports to fly into Sri Lanka: Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB),  Ratmalana Airport (RML) in Colombo, Mattala Rajapaksha International Airport (HRI) in Mattala, Jaffna International Airport (JAF) in Jaffna, and Koggala Airport (KCT) in Galle
Airports of Sri Lanka on Google Maps Sri Lanka has 22 airports that serve both regional and international destinations. 5 of them function as international airports – Bandaranaike International Airport CMB and Ratmalana Airport RML in Colombo, Mattala Rajapaksha International Airport HRI in Mattala, Jaffna International Airport JAF in Jaffna, and Koggala AirportKCT in Galle.
Things to know before flying to Sri Lanka
Airlines flying to Sri LankaAeroflot, AirArabia, AirAsia, Air Canada, Air France, Air India, Air Mauritius, Air New Zealand, American Airlines, British Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Finnair, FlyDubai, Gulf Air, Iberia, IndiGo, Japan Airlines, Jazeera Airways, JetBlue Airways, Kuwait Airways, LATAM, Oman Air, Malaysia Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, RwandAir, Singapore Airlines, SpiceJet, SriLankan Airlines, Turkish Airlines
Airlines of Sri LankaSriLankan Airlines, Cinnamon Air, Fly Southern, Serendib Airways, Senok Air, Helitours

Main airports in Sri LankaBandaranaike International Airport (CMB) — Colombo
Colombo International Airport (RML) — Colombo
Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (HRI) — Hambantota
Jaffna International Airport (JAF) — Jaffna
Kandy Airport (KDW) — Kandy
Anuradhapura Airport (ACJ) — Anuradhapura
Sigiriya Airport (GIU) — Dambulla
Koggala Airport (KCT) — Galle
Batticaloa Airport (BTC) — Batticaloa
China Bay Airport (TRR) — Trincomalee
Regular price (roundtrip)✈ €600 – €900 (from Europe)
✈ $900 – $1200 (from USA)
Flight hacks 40% — 80% off regular fare
Official websitesSri Lanka Tourism (official travel website)
Sri Lanka Travel Advice (UK citizens)
Sri Lanka Travel Advisory (US citizens)
Sri Lanka Travel Advisory (Australian citizens)
Sri Lankan Airlines (national airline of Sri Lanka)
Airline promotionsSee ticket sales & promos available for flights departing from February to April

Book cheap flights in the region

Get your visa in advance

Most tourists visiting Sri Lanka need to apply for a Sri Lanka tourist visa (only nationals of Singapore, Maldives, and Seychelles are exempt). This is easily done online, and your visa will usually be valid for 30 days, with an option to extend it to 90 days. We recommend applying around a week before the trip, as it usually takes 24-48 hours for the visa approval to come through.

Alternatively, you can obtain a Sri Lankan visa on arrival at the airport (at a slightly higher price). The caveat is that during the peak travel season you could end up waiting in line for a long while.

Know your time zone

Sri Lanka has only one time zone – it observes India Standard Time (IST) all year, which is UTC+05:30 time zone. As a result, clocks in Sri Lanka are 5 and half hours ahead of London and 9 hours and 30 minutes ahead of New York. IST does not have an associated daylight saving time.

When checking flights and airport transfer times, ensure you know the local time zones. The departure time on your plane ticket is always listed based on the time zone of the departure airport. We suggest resetting your watch during the flight – it will help your brain adjust to the new time zone and to deal with jet lag.

Duty-free rules

Sri Lanka is serious about the duty-free concession. There is a limit for bringing in certain items. Strong alcoholic drinks such as spirits cannot exceed 1.5 liters per person, and you can also bring 2 bottles of wine. Customs regulations of Sri Lanka do not permit any tobacco products to be brought into the country. In addition to personal items, you may carry items up to a value of $250.

Anything above those limits must be declared – at the airport, head to the Red Lane to declare your goods.

Book a seat in a quiet zone

Some airlines (for example AirAsia X) start to offer child-free “quiet zones” for a peaceful flight experience. Children below 10 years old are not allowed in this section. Those seats are usually located in front of the plane (bonus: less noise from the engines) with soft ambient lighting and early meal service.

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Flights to Sri Lanka fromUnited States and Canada

  • There are no direct flights from the US or Canada to Sri Lanka. However, most major hubs in Asia have non-stop flights to Sri Lanka, as do some larger airports in the Middle East – your journey will have at least one stop.
  • Sri Lanka is well-served via one-stop flights from North America. Flights to Sri Lanka with one layover depart from most major North American airports, including Atlanta ATL, Dallas DFW, Denver DEN, Chicago ORD, Los Angeles LAX, Las Vegas DFW, Miami MIA, Seattle SEA, Houston IAH, New York JFK, and San Francisco SFO in the United States and Toronto YYZ, Vancouver YVR, Calgary LAS, and Montreal YUL in Canada.
  • The best airlines to fly to Sri Lanka from the US and Canada are: Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, and Turkish Airlines. They are top full-service carriers, offering exceptional customer service, in-flight comfort, a generous checked baggage allowance, and reliable customer support channels – all included in the ticket price.
  • For long-haul flights, the type of aircraft you choose can make a huge difference to your overall comfort on board – especially if you’re flying economy. The best aircraft have comfier seats with more legroom, WiFi, superior entertainment systems, and a better passenger experience in every cabin in general. When booking a flight to Sri Lanka, look for the airlines that use wide-body planes designed for long-haul flights, such as Airbus A350 (best choice), A380, A320neo, or Boeing 767, 777, and 787 Dreamliner.

Sri Lanka from US & Canada
plane ticket prices in 2023/24

Real-time economy class airfares to Sri Lanka from the US and Canada. Shown are the top three deals for flights departing in the coming months (February to October).

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Long waiting times when calling the helpline?

Social media is usually a faster way to reach the airline when a problem arises. Use Twitter or Facebook Messenger to contact the airline customer service and get a response and solution within minutes (see detailed guides for Air India, Emirates, GoFirst, and others).

When it comes to Twitter, there’s one more trick to get in touch with the airline faster: mention the airline in a tweet about your issue (add “@airline_handle”, for example: “@flysrilankan” for Sri Lankan Airlines). The customer care team will often notice it immediately, ask you for a direct message, and respond privately.

The cheapest time to fly to Sri Lanka

The best time to find the cheapest flights to Sri Lanka tends to be during the low season – May to August. December is also an off-peak month if you don’t travel on dates around Christmas and New Year. With fewer tourists, flight prices to Sri Lanka are the cheapest, as airlines discount fares due to lower demand. Additionally, many hotels offer lower rates, and tourist attractions reduce admission fees.

Months between May and August mark the rainy season when the country experiences a Yala monsoon coupled with low humidity. It affects the southwestern part of the island (such as Colombo and Galle) with heavy rainfall. However, this is the best time for trips to the north of the island or the east coast – an interesting option for travelers who are into the laid-back surf scene (a surfing mecca in Arugam Bay is particularly worth checking out).

Avoid currency exchange kiosks at airports

Airports are infamous for making an exuberant amount of money from their currency exchanges due to the extremely high margins, and Sri Lankan airports are no exception. Airport kiosks usually charge higher fees which are sometimes hidden within the poorer exchange rates they offer – their business is based on charging extra for being a convenient, last-minute option.

It is always a good idea to bring cash with you to Sri Lanka, as the country runs on cash and many places don’t accept card payments. Plan ahead and exchange some money for the Sri Lankan rupee at home, or use one of the many ATMs located at the airport and in almost every city.

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Flights to Sri Lanka with stopover

Direct flights to Sri Lanka are, of course, much less hassle than flights that require one or more connections. However, they tend to be more expensive. In a trade-off between convenience and cost, the best option is often to opt for a flight with one layover.

So if you’re looking at a long-haul trip with at least one connection, rather than simply transiting an airport, why not take this opportunity to plan a longer stopover? A stopover is a prolonged layover — more than 24 hours — and it won’t only break up your long journey but will also become a legitimate part of your vacation. If you’re prone to severe jet lag, a one or two-day stopover would help minimize its adverse effects.

When booking flights, many airlines allow you to include a free stopover en route to your final destination in Sri Lanka. Those flights are usually cheaper than non-stop (direct) flights, and you can often choose your stopover at no additional cost — just by looking for multi-city flights with longer layovers.

Big cities in Asia and Pacific are known for their rich culture and history — making them a great idea for a stopover during a longer journey. Here are a few suggestions for a stopover while en route to Sri Lanka.

Some airlines openly advertise stopovers and offer significant discounts and travel perks for passengers to break up their trips: free luxury hotel stays, complimentary domestic flights, or exclusive rates for activities. Start checking for stopover deals to Sri Lanka with government-owned airlines (as they are looking to attract tourists to give the country economic benefits) — such as Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines. Almost every airline’s website has multi-city search functionality, often hidden inside the one-way/return/multi-city switch.

A well-chosen stopover will not only turn one vacation into many but also save you several hundred dollars in airfare. The available stopovers to Sri Lanka will depend on your initial destination (Europe, North America, Asia, etc) and the airline you are flying with. For most airlines, the best free stopover offer will be at their main hub.

Flights to Sri Lanka from UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and other countries in Europe

  • There are no direct flights from Europe to Sri Lanka — you’ll need to get a connecting flight from elsewhere in the Middle East or in Asia. Direct flights from Europe to Sri Lanka are about 9-11 hours long. Only some of the largest European hubs have a nonstop connection to Sri Lanka- among them are Frankfurt FRA, London LHR, and Paris CDG. Those flights arrive at the main international airport in Colombo CMB and are operated year-round by only one airline: SriLankan Airlines. However, there are some seasonal direct flights via Edelweiss Air (from Zürich ZRH), Air France (from Paris CDG), and Neos (from Milan MXP).
  • Airlines that frequently fly from the UK, Germany, France, and other European countries to Sri Lanka include Air France, British Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Finnair, KLM, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, SWISS, and Turkish Airlines.
  • Consider departure airports in neighboring countries to increase your chance of spotting the best deal. Especially look for large airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines. For example, if you live in Western Europe, check air tickets to Sri Lanka from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. Use European low-cost airlines such as RyanAir, EasyJet, and Eurowings to fly to the hub, then save hundreds of euros by taking a cheaper long-haul flight to your final destination.

    We recommend checking prices for flights to Sri Lanka from these European airport hubs: London LHR and Manchester MAN in the United Kingdom, Frankfurt FRA and Munich MUC in Germany, Paris CDG and Nice NCE in France, Amsterdam AMS in the Netherlands, Madrid MAD and Barcelona BCN in Spain, Rome FCO and Milano MXP in Italy, Brussels BRU in Belgium, Copenhagen OSL in Denmark, Oslo OSL in Norway, Stockholm ARN in Sweden, Zurich ZRH in Switzerland, Lisbon LIS in Portugal, Vienna VIE in Austria, Warsaw WAW in Poland, Prague PRG in Czech Republic, and Dublin DUB in Ireland.

European airports with the cheapest flights to Sri Lanka

Find the lowest prices for flights to Colombo Airport in Sri Lanka from the major airports in Europe — London, Dublin, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Lyon, Barcelona, Athens, Istanbul, Stockholm, Geneva, Helsinki, Zurich, and others.

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Check different departure airports

Consider neighboring cities when choosing the departure airport – especially look for larger cities with airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines.

For example, if you live in West Europe, check prices for flights departing from Paris, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Rome, or Vienna. In 9 out of 10 cases, the cheapest flight to Sri Lanka will depart from one of these hubs, and it may be €500 less or more than your first choice. Yes, you may have to fly a few hundred kilometers to this hub, but low-cost airlines like EasyJet, RyanAir, or WizzAir will happily take you there for €50 – €100.

Use a similar tactic if you depart from the US or another region. It’s one of the best ways to save hundreds on trips.

Book flights from many departure airports
By entering more than one departure city in the flight search engine (at the top of this page), you can quickly find the airport with the cheapest flights to your destination

Last-minute flights to Sri Lanka. The real cost of convenience.

Last-minute flights are often touted as a great way to save money, but the reality is far from it. Booking last-minute flights to Sri Lanka almost always never works out. The convenience of being able to book a flight on the fly is a dangerous game of chance, and you will most likely end up paying significantly higher than booking in advance.

The common perception may be that airlines decrease ticket prices to fill empty seats as the departure date approaches. However, the truth is that airfares depend on demand. Based on years of research and current customer data, the airlines know what people are willing to pay for specific flights and dates. They are also well aware that people are willing to pay a premium for flights they need to take immediately. To make the most money, the airline will sell its cheapest fares first and then increase the prices right before the flight to take advantage of business travelers and others who are willing to pay the premium price for late booking.

Last-minute flight cost spike
Late booking penalty: The flight prices rise as departure draws near. Last-minute flights are almost always more expensive than booking in advance.

Occasionally, airlines can put some seats on sale to fill the remaining seats, but these are for unusual times and unpopular places. Popular destinations and dates around peak travel times tend to sell out quickly.

Planning ahead is key to securing a good deal on your flight. Last-minute flight deals are hard to come by, so as soon as you have a tentative travel timeline, book your flight. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to save money. If you are looking for a good deal, the best time to book your flight to Sri Lanka is around 60-90 days before the departure date.

“Hot seats” on long-haul flights

Those days seat selection is considered an optional, extra paid service – seats with extra legroom (front and exit rows) are usually priced higher. However, if you’re about to take a long-haul flight to Sri Lanka, those “hot seats” are worth considering – expect to pay $50-$100, which is much less than upgrading to Premium Economy.

If you want to choose your seats, do this early (ideally during the booking) for a more extensive selection of available options.

Booking hot seats (preffered seats with extra legroom) on plane
Choosing a hot seat during the flight booking process is usually worth it. For a reasonable price, you will get more room to stretch your legs, as well as a wider seat pitch.

Lost baggage prevention

Avoid lost luggage nightmares by removing old tags on your suitcases. Tags are printed with a barcode for identification and tracking, so the old tags can confuse baggage handlers and the conveyor belt scanners. They are one of the reasons so many bags miss their flight or get misrouted.

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Airlines of Sri Lanka

The most know airline in Sri Lanka is Colombo-based SriLankan Airlines. It is one of the leading Asian airlines, well-known for its service, comfort, reliability, warmth, and friendliness. The airline currently operates a fleet of 26 sophisticated aircraft, which includes the Airbus A330 for the long haul, and the Airbus A320/A321 for short/medium haul routes. Sri Lankan has a strong presence in the Indian sub-continent, connecting the capital of Colombo to major Indian cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Trichy, Cochin, Chennai, Madurai, and Hyderabad). It is also a member of the Oneworld alliance with Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, and 10 other major carriers.

When traveling domestically in Sri Lanka, you may be flying with other, smaller country-based airlines, such as Cinnamon Air, Fly Southern, Serendib Airways, Senok Air, and Helitours. They offer decent service, well-maintained aircraft and fair prices; these boutique carriers can be the best option for traveling to remote parts of the country.

Flights to Sri Lanka from Australia and New Zealand

  • Australia and New Zealand are well-connected with popular Asian destinations, including Sri Lanka. In addition to domestic airlines – Qantas, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, and Air New Zealand – routes from Australia/New Zealand to Asia are operated by large regional carriers such as ANA, Emirates, Etihad, Fiji Airways, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines.

    Direct flights and flights with one layover to Sri Lanka are available from all major airports in Australia – Sydney SYD, Brisbane BNE, Melbourne MEL, Perth PER, Adelaide ADL, Cairns CNS, Gold Coast OOL, Canberra CBR, and in New Zealand – Auckland AKL, Wellington WLG, Christchurch CHC, Queenstown ZQN, Dunedin DUD.
  • In terms of cost-savings, we recommend flying from Australia and New Zealand to a major Asian hub and then booking a flight to your final destination in Sri Lanka with a regional budget airline. Among the low-cost airlines that fly into Sri Lanka are Air Arabia, AirAsia, Air India, Bamboo Airways, Flydubai, Flynas, IndiGo, Nok Air, Scoot, and Vistara.

    Currently, there are no direct flights from Australia or New Zealand to Sri Lanka. You’ll need a layover in one of the major hubs in Asia.

Prices of flights to Sri Lanka from Australia and New Zealand

Real-time economy class fares to Sri Lanka from major airports in Australasia — from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide in Australia, and from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch in New Zealand.

Prices in Australian Dollar.

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“Book Flights Now, Pay Later” — is it worth it?

Booking a flight and paying for it later has recently become a popular trend in the travel industry, with many airlines offering delayed payment plans. They will allow you to make flight reservation to Sri Lanka now and then pay the bill in installments. But should you take advantage?

Book Now Pay Later (BNPL) plans are essentially short-term personal loans. By partnering with financial companies such as Affirm, Afterpay, PayPal Credit, Postpay, and Uplift, airlines can offer their loan services on the checkout page. When you book the flight with the BNPL option, the company pays the airline, and you repay the loan in installments over a set period (usually up to 24 months), with a set interest rate.

BNPL providers have varying terms and fees. Some may offer interest-free loans but have fees for late payments and require forced autoplay on your bank account, while others may have high annual percentage rates (up to 30-40% APR). There may also be transaction fees, down payment requirements, and many companies even run a credit check on the traveler.

Among the airlines that offer a “fly now, pay later” option are American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Qantas, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Southwest, and Virgin Atlantic.

Is BNPL financing worth it? If paid off on time, interest-free delayed payment on your flight ticket to Sri Lanka can be a great way to free up your cash flow. However, there may be safer alternatives available – such as taking advantage of an introductory 0% interest offer on a credit card or using flight price “freezing” services like Hopper.

Hidden-city ticketing hack

Hidden-city ticketing is a less-known money-saving tactic where you buy a plane ticket with a layover, with the intention to get off at the layover rather than the final destination. For example, a flight from New York to Tokyo might be $600, but a similar flight from New York to Singapore with a layover in Tokyo might be only $350. Choosing the latter and ending the trip in Tokyo would save you $250.

It seems counterintuitive that a fare from A to C via B could possibly be cheaper than a simple fare on a shorter route from A to B. However, airlines use dynamic, computer-driven price models calculated with little human intervention, and such deals happen quite often.

Hidden-city ticketing flight hack
An example of a hidden-city ticketing flight hack. The layover city is actually our final destination (source: Skiplagged).

Booking a hidden city ticket isn’t as easy as booking a standard itinerary. There are some things to be aware of: (1) don’t check baggage — bring only hand luggage that can fit under the seat or an overhead compartment; a large checked bag will end up in the final destination C; (2) don’t use it for return flights — airlines often void any subsequent tickets if any segment of the first ticket is missed; (3) Do not overuse this tactic with the same airline — hidden-city ticketing is legal but airlines don’t like it and may try to punish you; (4) Don’t associate your frequent flyer account — the airline might invalidate any miles you’ve accrued with them.

How to find hidden-city tickets? The easiest way is to use Skiplagged website, which was designed for unearthing hidden-city deals — give them a try for your flight to Sri Lanka.

Get cheaper business class by bidding on airline upgrades

A growing number of airlines are auctioning upgrades to their business class seats. Once you book your economy ticket to Sri Lanka, you can offer to pay a bit more in an attempt to get a premium seat. 2-3 days before your flight, an airline will send you an email with a link to their website where you can place a “blind” bid. There’s usually a minimum bid amount. If you win the auction, you’ll be informed, and your seat will be upgraded.

How to choose the right bid amount? Just check the airline website for the regular cost of a business class seat to Sri Lanka, then subtract what you paid for the economy fare. Place your bid for around 10% to 30% of that price. The alternative strategy is to bid slightly above the competition. If, for example, the minimum bid is $500, try to bid $550-$600, as most people will offer the baseline amount required.

The more available business class seats the airline has on your flight, the lower bid can be successfully used. Check the airline’s daily schedule for flights to Sri Lanka – if there is more than one flight on your chosen route (more available seats), you can safely bid close to the minimum required amount.

Among the airlines that allow bidding for seat upgrades are: Air Canada (AC Bid), Air New Zealand (OneUp™), Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Fiji Airways (Bula Bid), Garuda Indonesia (BidUpgrade), Qantas, Singapore Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, and Virgin Australia (UpgradeMe).

Cheaper business class seat: online bidding
Etihad Airways auctions off upgrades to Business Class as a way to sell otherwise unused seats at the front of the plane

Fly early in the morning

Early morning flights (6 am or earlier) are usually cheaper than other day schedules. It’s because of lower demand – most people are not willing to go to the airport so early. Use it to your advantage.

Moreover, airports are also less crowded, and there tend to be fewer delays if you fly early in the morning. Due to increasing air traffic, delays get worse throughout the day – starting around 8-10 am and reaching a peak at 4-6 pm. If you are flying to Sri Lanka with a connecting flight, arriving on time at your layover airport may be critical to catching your next flight!

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Flights to Sri Lanka from Bali, Bangkok, Delhi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, and other major hubs in Asia

  • Asia is probably the best continent for short-haul and mid-haul flying. The sheer scale of this most populous region on Earth is reflected in the type of aircraft operating many shorter routes: intra-Asia flyers benefit from comfortable, wide-bodied aircraft by the likes of Boeing 777, 787 or Airbus A350, A330, and A380. When booking your flight to Sri Lanka look for these bigger planes as they will almost always give you the best experience in every cabin, including better seat pitches, higher ceilings, and larger overhead bin space.
  • Asia is also home to most of the world’s best airlines. There are only ten airlines that received the prestigious 5-star mark of quality from Skytrax, and all of them are from Asia: ANA, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines. Choosing one of these airlines for your trip to Sri Lanka will guarantee a pleasant journey – delicious meals served during the flight, great in-flight entertainment, and above-average airline customer service.
  • Asia is extremely well served by low-cost regional airlines. If you are visiting Sri Lanka and want to see several other countries on a tight budget, they often have great sales with rock-bottom prices, while still offering a relatively comfortable flight experience. Among the best Asian budget airlines you can book without hesitation are AirAsiaCebu Pacific, Citilink, FlyDubai, Indigo, Jetstar Airways, Scoot, SpiceJet, and VietJet Air. The cons? Being no-frills airlines they may not provide free baggage allowance, inflight meals, or onboard entertainment. The departure times may also be quite inconvenient as they try to save money by flying at off-peak hours.

Asian airports with the cheapest flights to Sri Lanka in 2023/24

Find the lowest prices for flights to Sri Lanka from the largest airports in Asia — Changi (Singapore), Dubai (UAE), Hong Kong (China), Incheon (Seoul, South Korea), Indira Gandhi (New Delhi, India), KLIA (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Narita (Tokyo, Japan), Denpasar (Bali, Indonesia), Soekarno–Hatta (Jakarta, Indonesia), Ninoy Aquino (Manila, Philippines), Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok, Thailand), Taoyuan (Taipei, Taiwan), and others.

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Take advantage of loyalty programs

Choose an airline that suits you the best, then stick to it. By becoming a ‘regular’, you will be able to use its loyalty program and earn “miles” (or points) – not only for flying but also for everyday expenses (if your card is affiliated with an airline).

Points earned this way often add up over time and are extremely helpful in flying at reduced fares. Airlines offer not only ticket discounts for their frequent flyers, but also special travel perks such as cabin class upgrades, increased checked baggage allowance, or access to their airport lounges so you can relax during long layovers.

If you often fly with Emirates, opt for Skywards, with Qantas – for Qantas Frequent Flyer, with Singapore Airlines – for KrisFlyer, etc.

Proof of onward travel – a simple hack

Travelers who go on long trips often don’t have a set itinerary and fly on one-way tickets. The problem? For many APAC countries, proof of onward travel is a legal requirement. If you arrive at the airport without an onward ticket (from Sri Lanka to another country), you’ll either be forced to buy one online or forbidden from boarding the plane altogether.

The cheapest solution? Renting an onward ticket! Use the websites such as OneWayFly or OnwardTicket to get a flight reservation for a limited amount of time (usually 2 to 14 days). They work by actually booking you on a real flight out of Sri Lanka and giving you a confirmable flight reservation with a PNR (Passenger Name Record) under your name. After the time limit, your spot on the flight is automatically canceled. Such “temporary tickets” tend to cost anywhere from $10 to $20.

Confirmed flight ticket reservation
Proof of onward travel: confirmed flight ticket reservation (source: OnwardTicket)

How to book a superdeal to Sri Lanka?

Every superdeal you receive from Air Traveler Club includes a link you can use to book a flight. It always directs you to the website that offers the lowest price. Sometimes it’s an airline website; in other cases, Google Flights or a similar flight booking platform.

This video explains how to use Google Flights to book a plane ticket.

YouTube video

Dealing with the jet lag

Jet lag affects people differently depending on age, physical fitness, and genetics. The most accepted rule suggests that you should allow one full day to recover from jet lag for every time zone (hour gained) you traveled east and a number of days equal to half the time zones crossed when you traveled west.

The most effective natural jet lag remedy is to force your body into its new routine. You can begin before getting off the plane: set your watch to the time in Sri Lanka, then do your best to sleep and eat based on the new time zone. Close the window shade when it’s time to simulate darkness. During your first day on the ground in Sri Lanka, get outdoors, stay physically active during the day, and absorb sunlight.