Colombo, Tuesday 14th March 2023: International Women’s Day 2023 calls on all stakeholders to #EmbraceEquity focusing on the fact that all women should be recognized and celebrated for their diversity and uniqueness. In keeping with the theme, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts Colombo sector and SriLankan Airlines embarked on a unique project to share knowledge while also recognizing and developing the skills of its female associates.

During Phase 1 of the multi-phased project, three female chefs from Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo, and Cinnamon Red Colombo, and three female chefs from SriLankan Catering, a fully owned subsidiary of SriLankan Airlines, were selected to swap places at their respective entities for a period of two days. The ladies were taken through a walk-through of the processes of food preparation for the aviation industry, and at hotel buffets respectively. On day two they were a part of food prep and creating dishes together with the culinary teams. On International Women’s Day the dishes prepared by the Cinnamon team were served onboard Business Class on SriLankan Airlines’ flight UL 503, which departed to London.   Similarly, dishes prepared by the SriLankan chefs were featured on buffets at the three Colombo properties.

Speaking on the project Area Vice President Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts Kamal Munasinghe noted, “We are privileged to be joining hands with Sri Lanka’s national carrier to celebrate the diversity and strength of our female associates this International Women’s Day. Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is commemorating International Women’s Day under the theme #PurpleistheNewPink where we are focusing on looking at the role of women in hospitality in a new light. The diversity that women bring to any organization should not be just celebrated on one day, which is why this project will be an ongoing one where we incorporate different functions that are common to both entities. In future, we will have female, and even male associates from different functions swap roles and learn from each other for the furtherment of the entire hospitality industry”.

Also commenting on the project, Chief Executive Officer of SriLankan Catering Mangala Wijesekera said, “We are excited to partner with Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts to empower women in travel and tourism. Our collaboration will provide employees of both organizations the unique opportunity to trade places with their counterparts and gain a broader insight into the hospitality trade. As an equal opportunity employer, SriLankan Airlines and SriLankan Catering value the women in its workforce and endeavour to create an environment of opportunity and fairness. We have women contributing to all areas of SriLankan Catering and the airline today including in jobs typically held by men such as chefs and aircraft pilots and engineers. I hope that this project will pave the way for greater professional growth for the participating female staff members and future inter-company collaborations committed to the shared goal of women’s empowerment.”

The second phase of the project will involve female operations associates at the Colombo hotels who will swap roles with ground handling staff at SriLankan Airlines for a period of two days, while phase three involves a swap between front office staff and in-flight crew.


Photo Caption

Image I – Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts chefs in conversation with Chef Kapila from SriLankan Catering

Image II – SriLankan Catering Chef at Cinnamon Red Colombo

Image III – SriLankan Catering Chef at Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo

Image IV – SriLankan Catering Chef at Cinnamon Grand Colombo


About SriLankan Airlines

SriLankan Airlines, the National Carrier of Sri Lanka, and a member of the oneworld alliance, is an award-winning airline with a firm reputation as a global leader in service, comfort, safety, reliability, and punctuality. Launched in 1979, the airline’s hub is located at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo providing convenient connections to its global network (including codeshare partners) of 114 destinations in 60 countries around the world. SriLankan’s direct route map covers major cities across the Europe, Australia, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and the Far East. The Airline operates an all-Airbus fleet including a state-of-the-art A330-300 and modern A320/321neo fleet.


The latest accolades won by the Airline include, 2023 APEX Passenger Choice Awards® – for Best Food & Beverage in Central/Southern Asia and Best Seat Comfort in Central/Southern Asia; Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (SMBR) Global Aviation Awards-Best Aviation Sustainability Programme (Mathaka upcycling project); World’s Leading Airline to the Indian Ocean title for the sixth consecutive time and Asia’s Leading Airline to the Indian Ocean title for the fifth consecutive time at World Travel Awards 2021; PATA Gold Awards 2021-Marketing Carrier; and the highest attainable Diamond rating at the APEX Health and Safety Audit Powered by SimplyFlying. For more information visit


About SriLankan Catering (Pvt) Ltd

A fully owned subsidiary of SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering (SLC) provides on-board catering services for airlines that operate through Colombo. Its state-of-the-art flight kitchen has a production capacity of over 25,000 meals per day, in a 24-hour operation, 365 days a year. SLC has a workforce of approximately 800 employees.


The Airport Restaurant and the Business Class transit lounge, Palm Strip, at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) are also owned by SLC.

SLC manages the 24-roomed, Serenediva Transit Hotel situated in the departure area, offering four room-types, equipped with essential amenities for transit passengers, and the newly opened Emirates Lounge, inside BIA.

 Additionally, SLC provides catering services to SriLankan Airlines’ Business Class lounge – Serendib, and lounges owned by the Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited in BIA.

SLC runs a state-of-the-art, mass-scale laundry facility situated in the SLC Complex in the airport, capable of laundering up to 15,000 pieces per day.


SLC is certified to the following standards: ISO 9001:2008 (Quality Management Systems); ISO 22000:2005 (Food Safety Management Systems); HACCP (Food Safety Assurance); ISO 14001: 2004 (Environmental Management System). For information visit



About Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts

Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is a diverse chain of hotels spanning Sri Lanka and the Maldives and a member of John Keells Holdings PLC, one of the largest listed conglomerates in Sri Lanka, with diverse interests in sectors ranging from Leisure, Transportation, Property, Consumer Food & Retail, Financial Services, Information Technology, and Business Process Operations to Plantations.

 This pioneering hotel chain was launched at the World Travel Market in London on 14 November 2005. Since its launch, it has come to represent a uniquely Cinnamon experience and has steadily risen to become the leading choice for travelers in Sri Lanka. The Cinnamon brand boasts a portfolio of vibrant and modern hotels, colourful and inspiring, unswerving hospitable and committed to satisfying our patron’s varied and discerning needs.

 Located in the heart of the city, Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo offers tranquil getaways in its unique offering of a ‘Resort in the City’ with expansive lakefront and garden views. Unveiling elegance and grandeur is Colombo’s most luxurious, modern, and truly ‘grand’ city hotels, Cinnamon Grand Colombo, located near Colombo’s Galle Face Green, overlooking views of the majestic Indian ocean and upcoming Port City. To complete the Colombo city collection is the first of its kind in South Asia, Cinnamon Red Colombo. Walking distance to shopping centers, historical sites and nightlife precincts of Colombo, this pioneering addition to the Cinnamon Colombo Hotel collection embodies the ‘Lean Luxury’ concept. Inspired by the arts and modern design, panoramas of Colombo’s cityscape and of course the innovative food and beverage options within the property, Cinnamon Red is the popular choice for urbanites and tech enthused travelers.  


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