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Palali Airport to launch direct flights to four Indian destinations from Oct.

z_FIN-pi-Palali-Airport-tThe Palali airport is now being upgraded to be Sri Lanka’s third international airport after Colombo, and Mattala and regional flights would be operated from October 2019. Ratmalana airport operates domestic flights and charter flights.

Direct flights would be initially operated to Indian destinations, Bangalore, Cochin, Mumbai and Hyderabad. “These would be for less than 75 seater aircraft,” Minister of Transport and Aviation, Arjuna Ranatuga told a special ceremony held to mark the transformation at Palali airport last week.

The Minister said that the total investment would be Rs. 2.25 billion out of which the Indian government will grant Rs 300 million for the project.

The present 950 meter runway would be re-laid under the first phase and later it would be extend to 1.5 km allowing larger aircrafts to land in Palali.

The Minister said that people now flying to Chennai and Bangalore from Colombo Airport spend one hour flying time but waste almost six hours to get to Colombo.

Opening up Palali to Indian traffic will firstly cut off this six hours and will bring unprecedented benefits to the people of the north as it will boost tourism and create business and job opportunities.

Palali airport was used for air travel between Madras, India and Jaffna in the 1960’s.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe earlier said that as part of its development plan in the North, the airport runway will be expanded to handle larger passenger aircraft such as the airbus A320 from countries like China, Australia, India, Japan, Middle East and several European countries. Wickremesinghe said the development of the north was a high priority of the government, and an international airport in the Jaffna peninsula would boost the economy in the region.

The Tuticorin and Colombo passenger service operated in 2011 from June to November was suspended due to technical reasons. The rail link between Dhanushkodi to Talaimannar was also closed several decades ago while the ferry services between Rameswaram and Talaimannar is expected to start once the requisite infrastructure facilities are in place at both the ports.

Courtesy – Daily News

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