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BIA reports 8,000 arrivals, departures daily now

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”There is a gradual upward movement of passenger traffic at the Bandaranaike International Airport to over 8,000 per day inclusive of 4,000 arrivals and 4,000 departures now on a daily basis” , Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka Ltd, Retd. Major General G.A. Chandrasiri told Daily News Business yesterday. There is also a significant growth in the number of aircraft movements with the tendency of airlines returning to their normal scheduled operations. On November 1, 2021, there were 98 aircraft movements at BIA, Chandrasiri said.

The changes in the behaviour of passengers due to the COVID-19 crisis, travel restrictions, and the ensuing economic crisis have resulted in a dramatic drop in demand for air travel in 2020 and 2021.

However, at present, the global aviation industry experiences a growth in air travel following the successful national vaccination program, resulting in the relaxation of travel restrictions. There’s plenty to be positive about these days, as the Bandaranaike International Airport becomes busier and many airlines make their plans for a return to a degree of normalcy and stability in the coming months. “There has been an increase in aircraft and passenger movements in Sri Lanka compared to Q1 and Q2. Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private)Limited (AASL) as the operator of all civil airports in the country plays a significant role in handling all airport operations and air navigation services.

AASL was providing air navigation services to more than 100,000 aircraft that use Sri Lankan airspace per annum before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. However, this number descended to almost one-tenth of it due to the pandemic.

“Even though the consequences hit the global air travel industry, now we can observe a recovering trend in the sector. The numbers were as low as less than 25 overflying aircraft per day during the peaks of the pandemic, but now it has gradually increased up to around 40 flights per day,” he said.

Meanwhile, Air France and Swiss International Airlines will commence their direct scheduled flights to Sri Lanka this month. Addressing the present changes in passenger travel dynamics, Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited (AASL) takes every step to give a seamless experience to the passengers.

To reduce the practice of physical form filling and encourage the passengers to opt into an online platform AASL has taken the initiative to introduce an online COVID-19 Health Declaration System at BIA.

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