Steps have been taken to attract tourists to Mattala International Airport. Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga says that a special program has been launched to attract international airlines as well as business jets for this purpose.
Mattala Airport has been given a number of concessions to attract international airlines. . The airport has been exempted from export tax for a period of two years and has also been given one year concession period for landing and parking charges.
It is planned to maintain a duty free shopping complex for the convenience of tourists and permission has already been granted to maintain communication services and bank counters.
Maldives, Qatar and AirAsia already operate direct flights to Mattala Rajapaksa Airport. Many other international airlines have expressed interest in launching new flights to Mattala next year.
The Minister says that discussions are being held with them at present. Salam Air has commenced cargo operations and Emirates plans to commence operations at Mattala Airport soon.
In addition, steps have been taken to develop the Mattala Airport as a transit hub. Qatar Airways and AirAsia Airlines have already started operations. The Minister said that due to the closure of the Indian Territory from February 2020, these operations were initiated to transfer the Marines.
It is also planning to start aircraft repairs, with the aim of providing services to foreign aircraft. Minor maintenances of aircrafts are expected to be done at the Mattala Airport in the near future. A feasibility study has also been conducted to operate the aircraft maintenance and engine repairs at Mattala. The Minister also stated that steps are being taken to complete the relevant infrastructure and other facilities.
Air cargo operations are also expected to be expanded at Mattala Rajapaksa Airport.