Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that a special programme is being implemented to attract new air traffic to MRIA.
“Accordingly, discussions were held with all airlines arriving in Sri Lanka regarding commencement of trips to the Mattala Airport.”
A five-year development plan for the Mattala Airport has been prepared. Accordingly, increasing the number of flights, developing further passenger goods terminals and facilities at warehouses and facilities for the maintenance and repair of aircraft will be done.
Currently a duty-free shopping complex has already been established at the passenger terminals. Ranatunga said that arrangements will be made to further develop facilities there. The Minister also said that it is intended to implement future activities in connection with this subsequent to bringing under control the present Covid situation.
|Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport and a group of tourists in January 2021.|
As a strategy of attracting arriving airlines and air passengers to the Mattala International Airport, scheduled airlines have been exempted from embarkation and parking fees. These airlines have been exempted from paying embarkation taxes for a period of two years.
Ranatunga said that initial discussions with airline companies such as Lot Polish, Lion Air, Air Astana, Ukraine Airlines, Indigo, Alliance Air, Air India, Emirates, Air Vistara, Maldivian Air and Salaam Air have already been concluded.
“As a result, eight Airline companies have engaged in new flights through the Mattala Airport, from time to time.”
These companies include Scat, Air Astana, Maldivian Air, Ukraine Air, Indigo Air, Salaam Air and Emirates. He further said that he was invited for many conferences which could be used to promote MRIA.
“However, in the face of the prevailing pandemic it had not been possible to participate in these conferences, he also mentioned that in the future these events will be attended and the Mattala Airport will be promoted.