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    Five domestic, two Indian operators keen on Palali

    August 29, 2019

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Five domestic airlines have agreed to operate domestic flights to the redeveloped Palali International Airport (JAF) from October. The soft opening is scheduled for October 15 and two Indian airlines too are expected to operate flights to JAF.Director General Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Upali Ratnayake told Daily News that the regional flights would take off from Ratmalana domestic Airport. (RML)The five operators would also include Mattala International Airport (MRIA) and some other regional airports to offer a round trip ticket.

    Ratnayake said that these operators are expected to lease small aircraft with a seating capacity less than 90 seats for this operation. However Colombo international airport is still not included to felicitate these domestic flightsRatmalana Palali sector was opened up after ending the LTTE war but most of the private companies pulled out as the sector was viable and it was Heli tours from Sri Lanka Air Force that kept on operating for a longer duration. “SLTDA have also studied this and have decided to provide Commercial Funding (GAP) for the airlines if they do not fill the required number of seats. SLTDA will pay for these seats so that the domestic airlines operations would be viable.

    Meanwhile an airport aviation official said that these domestic operators would later be granted permission to land in the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) when infrastructure improves, enabling these local domestic airline operators to pick up international traffic and fly them to local regional airports

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