AirAsia Philippines commences seafarer repatriation flights to Sri Lanka’s Mattala Airport
AirAsia Philippines commences seafarer repatriation flights to Sri Lanka’s Mattala Airport

AirAsia Philippines commences seafarer repatriation flights to Sri Lanka’s Mattala Airport

AirAsia Philippines has reportedly commenced operating seafarer repatriation flights to Sri Lanka’s Mattala International Airport since the country now serves as a hub for crew changes in the global shipping industry.

The first AirAsia Philippines charter had landed at Mattala Airport last week, according to Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd (AASL).

“Since the COVID19 pandemic has been controlled within the country, Sri Lanka has been able to come to the aid of the international shipping community by being a safe location for facilitating the change of ship crew, which is critical for the safe operation of ships,” AASL has noted in a statement.

“In light of this opportunity, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) – the largest international airport serving Southeast Sri Lanka, is poised to become a hub for international ship crew changes.”

AirAsia Philippines had departed on August 10 with 14 Filipino seafarers, after bringing in 13 replacement crew members.

Mack Air, the general sales agent for AirAsia, Ceyline Shipping Ltd had coordinated the crew change.

According to reports, AASL had been facilitating crew changes with ships calling at Galle Harbour in the South or to regular callers in Colombo.

Over 50 repatriation and seafarer flights have been operated out of Mattala since the last week of June, the AASL has added.

OSL take:

Business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka continues to increase due to several reasons starting from its geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, ease of doing business environment and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country. The latest endeavour undertaken by the country is the facilitation of shop crew transfers. This has opened up many business opportunities to the country’s shipping industry and has also had a cascading effect on aviation, tourism and consumer sales sectors. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore business opportunities in Sri Lanka. 

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Article Code : VBS/AT/14082020/Z_2

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