International airlines to resume flights to Sri Lanka by mid July
International airlines have reportedly expressed readiness to resume flights to Sri Lanka by mid-July, two weeks earlier than the 1 August date announced by the government of Sri Lanka to repoen country to international travelers, local media reports noted.
The willingness to resume operations by 15 July was conveyed by airline representatives during a travel industry meeting with Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa last week.
The sentiments were expressed by members of the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR) in the country.
The government of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Tourism has recently announced plans to reopen the country’s Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) from 1 August and so far there is no change in the plans.
Apart from BAR, the Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), Sri Lanka Association of Professional Conference, Exhibition and Event Organisers (SLAPCEO), have also attended the meeting with the Prime Minister.
Sri Lanka’s Tourism and Aviation Services Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, Secretary to the Prime Minister Gamini Senerath and Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando had represented the government side at the meeting.
The Daily FT has quoted sources as saying that the Prime Minister had requested the airlines to discuss the matter with Minister Ranatunga and Sri Lanka’s National Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe as well as the Civil Aviation Authority whilst ensuring the right health safety protocols are given priority and adhered to as part of the management of the post-COVID-19 phase.
International airlines have decided to resume flights to Sri Lanka by mid July creating the opportunity for local and foreign businesses reengage in stalled business work due to the lockdown brought about by the global Covid 19 pandemic. Sri Lanka’s tourism, trade and investment sectors would receive a fresh impetus by the recommencement of international airline operations. With Sri Lanka restarting its economy and the development programme along with it, the island is now a hive of business/investment opportunities.
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