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Int’l flights to Batticaloa Airport from July

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 Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva and other officials at the discussion
Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva and other officials at the discussion

Creating aviation history Batticaloa International Airport (BTC) will operate international flights from July to India said Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva.

He disclosed this during a meeting with airline representatives that also included Reliance Air that already operated direct daily flights to Jaffna. The newly appointed Governor of the Eastern Province, Senthil Thondaman also participated in this event and discussed strategies and initiatives for the development of the Eastern Province, with a particular focus on enhancing air and sea travel infrastructure to support the tourism industry in the region.

It has been revealed that enhancing airport productivity can be achieved by extending flights from Chennai, India to Ratmalana and further to Batticaloa. The Governor emphasized the intention to discuss this matter with Alliance Airline, which currently operates flights from Chennai to Jaffna and take necessary steps to extend the flights up to Batticaloa. The Governor said that discussions would be initiated with the relevant representatives of shipping lines to explore the possibility of extending passenger lines that connect Colombo and Hambantota up to Trincomalee.

The Minister said that Reliance Air has announced plans to increase flight operations from Ratmalana and Katunayake to Batticaloa starting next July. During the meeting, the challenges related to air travel accessibility for tourists visiting the Eastern Province were discussed, particularly the issue of expensive airfares. As a result, a consensus was reached to initiate domestic flights connecting the area with airports located in Katunayake, Mattala, Ratmalana, and Palali.

“This decision aims to address the difficulties faced by tourists and improve the overall facilitation of air travel within the region.” During this discussion, it was revealed that private airlines operating internally have not taken sufficient steps to maximize the benefits of the Batticaloa Airport , which is capable of facilitating flights carrying approximately 75 passengers. Officials and representatives from the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation, Eastern Province Governor’s Office, Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited, Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) and private airline services also attended the discussions. The infrastructure faculties at Batticaloa such as Customs and Immigration too will be upgraded to meet the demand of international traffic.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023 – 01:00

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