FitsAir (8D, Colombo International) is looking for an A319-100 to launch its first domestic route from Colombo International to Jaffna, and then onwards from the latter to destinations in southern India, its vice-president (passengers) Peter Hill has told Times Aerospace.

Hill stressed that the hybrid carrier would be an attractive alternative to lengthy overland journeys from the commercial hub of Sri Lanka to the largest city in the north of the island. Its target customer segment includes low-budget travellers, given FitsAir's no-frills pricing structure.

Currently, Jaffna sees very limited connectivity by Alliance Air (India) to Chennai (daily) and by Cinnamon Air to Sigiriya (4x weekly). The latter is the only carrier operating scheduled domestic operations within Sri Lanka, but it operates exclusively Cessna (single turboprop) C208 Grand Caravans. As such, FitsAir would be the first large aircraft operator plying domestic services in the country.

Earlier this year, Hill told ch-aviation that the airline was evaluating ATR72s for the domestic and southern India routes. He did not respond to a question about whether the turboprops are still under discussion in parallel to the A319.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows that the Sri Lankan carrier currently operates three A320-200s on scheduled routes to Chennai, Dubai International, and Malé. It plans to add new routes to Dhaka and Tiruchirapally soon, the latter as early as January 2024.

Hill added that the carrier was evaluating the business case for adding new-generation narrowbodies. The A320s allow it to operate routes of up to five hours but some important destinations - notably Jeddah International - remain out of range. An A320neo or B737 MAX would facilitate such network expansion. Likewise, the airline does not exclude adding widebody aircraft at some point.

"We either have to get ourselves the new narrowbodies or we have to look for a widebody. But I would say that's a couple of years down the line," Hill said.