British Airways starts its much-anticipated service to the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo on Sunday, April 14, amid the country’s New Year celebrations.

Dancers from the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre helped British Airways promote the new route by posing on board a 777, which will operate the route with three cabins, including fully flat beds in Club World.

Peter Simpson, director of Gatwick, said: “This is an extremely exciting new route for us. The UK has the second largest number of tourists visiting the island after India so it’s a fantastic opportunity for them to fly there with British Airways from Gatwick.

“Sri Lanka has so much to offer visitors from beach, spa or adventure holidays, to cultural, wildlife and nature breaks.”

Flights operate three-times-a-week between London Gatwick and Colombo, via Male in the Maldives.