Uzbekistan Airways commences operations to Sri Lanka’s Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport
Uzbekistan Airways commenced operations to Sri Lanka’s Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), located in the country’s southern province, recently and the airline will operate a weekly flight between Uzbekistan and Mattala every Wednesday.
Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Pvt.) Ltd. (AASL) met with the airline at the Air Service World Congress 2021 Forum, held in Dubai last December, and had extensive discussions with Uzbekistan Airways, and as a result, the airline will start operations at MRIA, according to local media reports.
The team from AASL represented the Air Service World Congress 2021 Forum and was able to attract the airline based on the government concessions provided to airlines. This initiative will increase the tourist arrival numbers in the country and establish a new source market for the tourism industry of Sri Lanka.
MRIA has seen significant growth in the arrival of international tourists in the past two years. At present, SkyUp Airlines and Gullivair Air are operating and have planned to continue scheduled charter flights and in January 2022, these airlines have carried more than 2,900 tourists into the country.
“With renewed hopes on the aviation industry, AASL has been promoting MRIA to international airlines and tour operators. We are extremely delighted to see Uzbekistan Airways commencing charter operations connecting new destinations with MRIA. I am sure that this initiative will support the tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka post pandemic and strengthen the economic co-operation between Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka. We have been continuing our efforts to make sure that our airports are operated in compliance with the international standards of health and safety. Further, we plan to continually develop and expand the aviation industry of Sri Lanka and provide an exotic travel experience to passengers,” AASL Chairman Maj. Gen. (Retd.) G.A Chandrasiri has been quoted as saying in the media.
“With the view to drive air service development and destination marketing focusing largely on creating awareness, AASL attended the Air Service World Congress 2021 Forum held in Dubai in December 2021. We had discussions with Uzbekistan airlines and many others, and were extremely happy to see that Uzbekistan Airways will be commencing its charter flights initially to MRIA, and we will continue to negotiate with the airline to commence eventual scheduled flight operations to Sri Lankan airports. Travellers from Uzbekistan will enjoy ease of access to their preferred travel destinations in the island, such as wildlife parks, beaches, and cultural and religious attractions, which have made MRIA an attractive airport for tourism. AASL has been taking aggressive steps to promote Mattala as an ‘exotic tourism destination airport’ targeting the hotspots for international tourists such as Ella, Yala, Arugam Bay, Udawalawe, etc.,” AASL Director – Operations (All Airports) Shehan Sumanasekara has also told the media.
There has been a steady growth in the number of flights operated to Sri Lanka by international airlines, which is in line with the growth in tourist arrivals to the country as well as foreign business travellers. All these are indicative of the overall growth and expansion of Sri Lanka’s economy. The visible growth in the country’s tourism industry has opened up many business/investment opportunities in the industry. Also, the increasing number of flights operating to Sri Lanka has increased the need for the development of supplementary infrastructure facilities in the country’s airport and aviation sectors. With the country on a development programme and being positioning as an emerging business destination in the region, Sri Lanka offers a host of new business/investment opportunities covering all key economic sectors.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/18022022/Z_3|