Several international airlines in discussion with Sri Lanka to launch new flights to the island
Several international airlines are reportedly holding discussions with Sri Lanka to launch new flights to both the Katunayake International Airport and Mattala International Airport this year.
Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has told the local media that 32 airlines around the world are currently flying to Sri Lanka and discussions are underway to launch four new airline services.
Accordingly, Oman-owned Salam Airlines is in talks to launch direct flights to Mattala International Airport.
The Minister has said that Air France and a Middle Eastern Airlines have agreed to launch flights to Sri Lanka soon and have agreed to launch flights covering both the Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport as well as the Mattala International Airport.
Under the new programme, steps will be taken to increase the passenger capacity of Sri Lanka’s airports by creating positive competition by making Sri Lanka a hub in the aviation industry, Sri Lanka’s state owned Daily News has reported.
The number of flights is expected to increase in line with the worldwide tourism promotion campaign to revive Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
Minister Ranatunga has expressed confidence that with the expansion of air services with countries around the world, the number of tourists arriving in the island in the near future will be around 30,000 per month.
In a bid to increase facilities in ‘tourism hot spots’, the Minister has further stated that a ‘tourist service and information center’ would be built near Nine Arches bridge in Ella.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country when the global Covid 19 pandemic brought about global travel restrictions. However, visitors to Sri Lanka from overseas countries are on the rise since the country re-opened it’s borders early this year. With Sri Lanka fast becoming a business hub in the South Asian region and a safe as well as hygienic venues in post Covid travel, the number of flights being operated to the island by international airlines are on the increase. All these are indicative of the expanding economic activities in the country. Foreign businesses/investors could explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.
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