FitsAir (8D, Colombo Int'l) plans to expand into scheduled international passenger services in March 2022 with two dry-leased DHC-8-Q400s, according to Managing Director Omar Kayaam.

He told Smart Aviation Asia Pacific the company was currently negotiating with lessors for the De Havilland Aircraft of Canada turboprops on 24 to 36 month leases, starting with two and adding another two by September 2022.

This was confirmed to ch-aviation by Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Accountable Manager Asitha Ranaweera, who said the airline now plans to use Dash 8-400s for all its scheduled passenger flights. "We are switching the equipment from ATR72 to DHC Dash-8 for passenger operations. We are negotiating with lessors for the aircraft now," he said.

With its initial plans having been delayed by the pandemic, Kayaam said new impetus for international route expansion was driven by the recent opening for international flights of Colombo Ratmalana, formerly Colombo’s old domestic airport, and increasing demand for international travel.

Tourist routes planned included Malé in the Maldives and Chennai, Madurai, and Tiruchirapally in southern India.

FitsAir would also restart its domestic passenger service between Colombo and Jaffna, first scheduled in February 2020 with its only in-house ATR72-200(QC).

Kayaam also disclosed plans to add larger freighters, such as B737-800s, to the fleet at the end of 2022.

As reported, the airline took delivery of an A320-200 - converted into a makeshift freighter - from AerCap last year and was planning to add another A320 for passenger services by April 2021, but plans seem to have changed. "The second A320 is yet to be delivered to Sri Lanka and will be converted to a preighter [a passenger-configured aircraft used to haul cargo]," he said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, its current fleet includes the single A320-200 and its only ATR72-200 (QC) alongside two Cessna (single turboprop) 208B Grand Caravans.