Maldivian plan to launch Male – Colombo (Ratmalana) flights delayed

Maldivian Airlines expressed concern on the delay of the SrI Lankan authorities to begin passenger air services between Male and Ratmalana air port resuming commercial aviation operations after 50 years, officials said.

The Sri Lanka Customs is yet to release its staff to Ratmalana air port to carry out such air operations.

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Sri Lankan government has approved a proposal submitted by Maldivian Airlines on February 20 2017 to operate initially here weekly flights (Tues days/Thursdays and Saturdays) , Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala De Silva said. .

Dash 8 aircraft (50 seater) which is a turboprop commuter airliner entered service in 1989 would be used for this air service, a note submitted by H.M.C. Nimalsiri, Director General of Civil Aviation revealed.

The bilateral air services agreement between Sri Lanka and Maldives is very liberal and do not have any capacity limitations, Mr. Nimalsiri pointed out in his note observations to the Cabinet.

A special discussion Maldivian air lines flights was held recently at the Ratmalana Airport premises with the participation of the Maldivian Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Moosa Zameer and Sri Lankan Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva.

A MoU for this purpose between the two countries is due to be signed soon.
However Sri Lankan Airlines after conducting some studies has informed the Civil Aviation Authority that they were not interested in launching flights as operations out of Ratmalana is not commercially viable, Mr. Nimalsiri said in his note.

Currently Sri Lankan Airlines operates 48 flights to Male from Katunayake international airport.

Ratmalana airport was built in 1935,and it was used only for activities of the Sri Lanka Air Force during the war and since the end of the war in 2009 the airport is gradually being used for civil aviation purpose (LIN)

Source: Srilanka News Live

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