Iran’s Mahan Airlines to fly to Sri Lanka from November
The Sunday Morning: Iranian Mahan Airlines has been approved to commence scheduled flights to Sri Lanka from November onwards, according to the Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation.
Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva revealed that the ministry had granted approval for the Iranian airline to commence scheduled flights to Sri Lanka from November onwards.
Elaborating, he stated: “We have granted approval to Mahan Air from Iran. They are currently engaged in discussions with the Civil Aviation Authority to determine the schedule and number of flights.”
He further revealed that approval had also been granted for Turkish Airlines, the flag carrier of Turkey, to commence direct scheduled flights from Istanbul to Colombo from October.
This is the first time in 10 years that Turkish Airlines will be introducing direct flights to Sri Lanka and this development is expected to connect Sri Lanka to certain North European countries where only Turkish Airlines is operating.
The Minister also revealed that for the first time the Israeli airline Arkia would be commencing direct flights from Tel Aviv to Colombo from 31 October.
Arkia is expected to use its Airbus A321neo aircraft for the Tel Aviv to Colombo route. Outbound flights will be offered on Tuesdays and return flights on Wednesdays.
This development has been in the making since 2022 and was delayed due to the need for approval from the Ministry of Defense due to the armed guard provided for Israeli flights.
Many international airlines have either resumed stalled operations to Sri Lanka or have increased the number of flights operated to Sri Lanka. All these are indicative of the expansion in economic activities in the country. The increase in flights being operated to Sri Lanka indicates a steady growth in tourist arrivals to the country as well as an increase in business travelers visiting the country exploring business/investment opportunities. The increase in air traffic also indicates an expansion in the airport and aviation industry. Therefore, foreign businesses/investors could explore the growing opportunities in the airport and aviation industry. With Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country also supporting the country’s business environment, foreign businesses/investors could confidently explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka.
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