Sri Lankan authorities approve over 20 charter flights to bring tourists in February and March
Sri Lanka’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has reportedly granted approval to over 20 charter flights to bring in tourists to the country in February and March.
The new approvals are for flights operated by Ukraine International and SkyUp from Ukraine and Air Astana from Kazakhstan, local media reports stated.
Of the approved, 12 are by SkyUp which was the first to arrive under the pilot project of Ukrainian tourists late last month, five by Ukrainian International Airlines and six flights by Kazakhstan the Daily FT has further reported.
According to the CAA, approval has been granted to two new airlines to operate into Sri Lanka, increasing the number of registered carriers to nearly 40 and Ethiopian Airlines and Maldivian Airlines are the two approved so far among six new applications received by the Authority.
Approval of GoAir – an Indian low-cost airline; Sky Capital Airlines – a Bangladesh cargo airline; Jetsar – an Australian low-cost airline; Air Falcon – a cargo carrier from Pakistan; and Jazeera Airways from Kuwait are pending, the Authority has stated.
As of January 2020 there had been a total of 35 registered airlines. Following the Covid-19 pandemic only eight international airlines and 15 charter carriers were operating to Sri Lanka including Emirates, Qatar Airways, Oman Air, Kuwait Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Turkish Airlines.
The number of charter flights that have sought permission to travel to Sri Lanka is indicative of the growing interest among foreign travellers to visit Sri Lanka. The country’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors when the global Covid 19 pandemic affected global travel. However, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is showing strong signs of rebounding with a near month long tourism pilot project launched last month earning Rs. 420 million to the tourism sector. With Sri Lanka being listed as a must visit destination by several leading global travel publications and the safety and hygienic certification received by the country, the island is fast becoming an attractive destination for post Covid travel. This has resulted in the expansion of business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
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