Departing as Flight UL604 from Colombo the Airbus A330-300 4R-ALM Touched town approximately at 3:20pm at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport. Making a welcome return to Australia for the airline which stopped operating to Australia in 2001.

4R-ALM SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330-343 ASO (1 of 1)

Its been a long time between touch down, UL604 touches down.

The flight takes nearly 11 hours and will be operated daily connecting the large Sri Lankan population who call Victoria home. The aircraft is fitted with an 18 seat lie-flat business class seats and 269 economy seats in a 2-2-2 arrangement.

4R-ALM SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330-343 ASO 2 (1 of 1)

Airbus A330-300 City of Sihagiri

Melbourne Airport corporation, SriLankan Airlines and the local State Government of Victoria have worked hard to bring this service to fruition.

4R-ALM SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330-343 ASO 3 (1 of 1)

The aircraft receives its traditional water cannon salute.

4R-ALM SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330-343 ASO 4 (1 of 1)

One of thirteen A330s in the fleet with six 200s and 7 300s respectively.

AR-ALM SriLankan Airline Airbus A330-343 AS0 6 (1 of 1)

City of Sihagiri was delivered 3 years ago.

4R-ALM Srilankan Airlines Airbus A330-343 ASO 6 (1 of 1)

4R-ALM parked at Delta 20 for disembarking of its passengers and invited guests.

The OneWorld Airline alliance partner, started the flight with some real fan fair. What better way to celebrate, then with a game of cricket. Luckily there was some retired cricketers on board the flight.

SriLankan Airlines Cricketers ASO (1 of 1)

Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Simon Gandy with Cricketers Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena

SriLankan Airlines Cricketers ASO 2 (1 of 1)

Mahela Jayawardena has a turn on the temporary wicket.

SriLankan Airlines Cricketers ASO 3 (1 of 1)

SriLankan Airlines CEO Captain Suren Ratwatte, wields the willow in the terminal.

SriLankan Airlines Cricketers ASO 4 (1 of 1)

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena along side Ray Bright, tossed a few balls and batted a few too. It was a draw if your wondering who won!

Srilankan Airlines Dancers ASO (1 of 1)

Passengers traveling on the inaugural flight were treated to performances by traditional Sri Lankan dancers on their arrival


SriLankan Airlines Cricketers ASO 5 (1 of 1)

All the dignitaries line up for a group shot to celebrate a successful flight

The return flight UL605 departed back to Colombo at 5:32pm

Aviation Spotters Online wishes to thank Melbourne Airport Management and SriLankan Airlines in the preperation of this article.

Dave Soderstrom