Sri Lankan Airlines Delays/ Cancellations

Melburnian1

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On only its second return trip from Australia, Sir Lankan Airlines UL605 (1655 hours afternoon MEL - CMB, A333 4R-ALQ) took off at 1737 with arrival in the Sri Lankan capital expected at about 2301 hours, 46 minutes late.

This is a well timed flight, allowing businessmen and women to work until say 1330 (assuming they are not more than an hour from Melbourne Airport), check in and be (local time) in a Colombo hotel if all goes well by 0030 or 0100 hours the next day. UL has financial problems and has abolished some routes but chose Melbourne for its Australian foray as it has by far the largest Sri Lankan community in Australia.

Very pleasingly, like AI it is operating daily. This may be risky during the quieter times of the year but one assumes the airline is banking on many passengers making connections in Colombo.

One unwise timetable feature is that the aircraft has a 90 minute timetabled turnaround in Australia. This leaves little or no room for late inbound running if the aim is to get UL605 out on time, as the minimum observed turnaround for an A333 is about 75 minutes. It came in about half an hour late today.

I can vouch for Sri Lanka being a very pleasant place for a holiday, even if its beaches are not quite as scenic as those in say Philippines. Male Sri Lankans love to chat about cricket which many will do as soon as they realise one is not from the USA. It will be interesting to see how much passenger traffic this airline snares from SQ, QF, AI and so on, including passengers bound for or emanating from much more heavily populated India.
 
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Melburnian1

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UL604 has been a good timekeeper between CMB and MEL since its recent inception, but this is untrue on Sunday 19 November.

A332 4R-ALB is expected to arrive at 1735 hours, 130 minutes late due in part to around 1655 hours having 'enjoyed' holding southwest of Kerang, Vic. The other reason was that yesterday it went to Melbourne and back, and was similarly about two hours late arriving in CMB this morning in the small hours almost immediately after midnight.

This will delay the returning UL605 from its normal 1655 hours departure until at least an 1850 hours pushback, again showing the inadvisability (if at all practical) of international airlines timetabling longer than minimum turnarounds at terminii.

However apart from slot availability one further consideration for UL may have been how with a prompt scheduled turnaround at both MEL and CMB, it is possible to use the same aircraft on consecutive days for this rotation. This has already occurred a few times with 4R-ALA operating the four consecutive trips from six to three days ago, with all punctual, quite an achievement.
 
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Melburnian1

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Thursday 30 November 2017 has UL605 (1655 hours MEL - CMB that was in the sky at 1813, A333 4R-ALP) suggested as arriving 70 late at 2325 hours.

Since these flights commenced it has not been unusual for the same aircraft to operate two consecutive return 'Melbournes' ex Colombo but given the delay, that would mean tonight's UL604, the 2350 hours would not be off blocks until 0040 (Friday 1 December) at the absolute earliest.
 

Melburnian1

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One that I missed - apologies - was that on Thursday 3 May, UL604, the 0020 hours just after midnight CMB - MEL did not depart until 0800 hours with A332 4R-ALD arriving at 2151. The flight was known as UL604D.

UL605 returning, normally a departure at this time of year at 1610 hours departed instead at 2325 with Friday 4 May CMB arrival at 0508 hours.
 

Melburnian1

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UL605 from MEL to CMB has had surprisingly excellent punctuality since its introduction. I say that because when I travelled on it between SIN - CMB and return, it was not timely.

However the gusty winds and rains creating many delays out of MEL on Friday 11 May 2018 have taken their toll with the flight (aircraft A332 4R-ALC) taking off at 1847 (compared to the scheduled 1610 hours afternoon pushback) and meaning likely arrival in the Sir Lankan major centre at roughly 0045 on Saturday 12, 135 minutes late.

Sometimes the same aircraft comes to MEL on consecutive days but given that UL604 has a timetabled departure ex CMB at 0020, that may not be the case on Saturday unless the airline lacks another A332 to operate the southbound.
 

Cossie

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UL604 Colombo to Melbourne, 14/06/2018. Was originally scheduled to leave at 00:20, delayed 1 hour by late arrival of connecting passengers from Mumbai.

After pull back and ready to taxi, Captain informed us that there was a sick passenger that wanted to get off. Back to bridge, passenger left, baggage found very quickly and we were on the way at 02:13.

Arrival into Melbourne at 16:45, due time was 14:40 (times taken from flightradar24)
 

Melburnian1

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On Thursday 26 July 2018, the mostly punctual UL605 (A332 4R-ALD, the 1610 hours MEL across and up to bustling CMB) was in the sky at 1727, so expected arrival is 2340 tonight, 70 late.
 

Melburnian1

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UL605 continues to have generally good timekeeping but on Tuesday 21 August, A333 4R-ALM took off at 1644, 34 minutes after scheduled pushing back, so arrival is delayed until 2302 hours, 32 late.
 

Silvia

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On Jan 8th, 2019, the usually punctual UL604 CMB-MEL (A333 4R-ALQ) took off at 2 04, this means that arrival is revised to 16 55, 60 min tardy.
This will impact the return leg as UL605 which was expected to depart at 17 25.
 

Silvia

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Tuesday 29th of Jan sees UL 604 CMB-MEL (A333 4R-ALM) with a revised arrival at 17 02, 67 min tardy. This will undoubtedly impact the return leg UL605, which is now suggesting a 18 20 departure.
 

Melburnian1

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On Friday 10 May 2019, what has been a popular launch of flights into Oz, UL's UL604, arrived (ex CMB) in MEL at 1650, 10 late.

However the music then stopped. A333 4R-ALR did not depart on the 1610 hours MEL - CBR UL605 until about 0650 on Saturday 11, taking off at 0708, with CMB arrival estimated at 1250 hours, 860 late.

This is the first overnight delay to UL605 that I can recall, although it's possible some were missed.
 
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Melburnian1

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It is unusual for UL605, the 1610 hours afternoon MEL - CMB to run significantly late but on Monday 10 June 2019 A333 4R-ALP did not take off until 1756. Predicted arrival is 2348 hours, 78 late. This is the fourth consecutive day that this aircraft has operated the UL604/UL605 roster. However as UL604 is scheduled to depart CMB at 0020 hours on Tuesday 11, it is likely to be operated by a different A333.
 

Silvia

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Friday 16th of August sees UL604 CMB-MEL (A333 4R-ALQ) arrive at 15 36, 56 min behind schedule.
 

Melburnian1

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UL's sole flight runs punctually most of the time, but on Sunday 8 September 2019, A333 4R-ALO as UL604, the 0020 hours CMB - MEL took off at 01389. Arrival is expected at 1529 hours, 49 minutes late.
 

Melburnian1

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Since introduction, UL's CMB - MEL route has by all accounts been successful with good loadings (though yields have not been publicised.)

Timekeeping has also been good but on Sunday 26, arrival of UL604 (A333 4R-ALQ) should be at 1652, 57 minutes late, delaying the return.
 

Melburnian1

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Dujring coronavirus, the number of international flights has markedly reduced to a minimal number.

UL605 is operating on Saturday 4 April 2020 but its timetable is radically different from what used to be its afternoon departure ex MEL for CMB. On 5 April, this 0440 hours unattractively timed flight (A333 4R-ALL) took off at 0945 so expected arrival has become 1436 hours, 281 minutes behind the changed schedule.
 
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Melburnian1

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UL604 from CMB down to MEL hasn't operated for a while but on Thursday 7 May 2020, A333 4R-ALN on this 0020 hours just after midnight flight took off at 0529 hours with likely at gate arrival becoming 1917 in the early evening, 277 minutes late. Tomorrow morning's UL605 has become a proposed 1300 hours early afternoon ex MEL instead of 0815 hours.

With a number of airlines operating infrequently to Australian airports, staying overnight has become common for aicraft as it means the same crew - after the minimum 10 hours' rest break - can take the plane back to its origin without having to be 'isolated' in an hotel room for days on end.
 

Melburnian1

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Monday 15 June 2020's UL605, ther 0810 hours morning MEL - CMB during coronavirus, has been cancelled.

However UL3418 is operating at 1500 hours mid afternoon tomorrow from MEL up to SYD. Very unusual.
 
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Melburnian1

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Monday 29 June 2020 (during coronavirus) sees UL600, an early bird 0505 hours MEL to SYD and on to CMB, cancelled. The inbound (also UL600 as it would have altered its flight number in SYD not MEL given the extra Oz top) that was to arrive at 0335 tomorrow morning has also got the flick.
 

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