Passengers of the first Maldivian flight to Ratmalana Airport, yesterday morning received a warm welcome. Officials from the Maldives and the Sri Lankan government took part in the ceremony.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) announced that three weekly flights, scheduled for Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, will operate between Velana International Airport, Maldives, and Ratmalana International Airport.
The flights will depart Maldives at 6:00 am, and land in Sri Lanka at 8:40 am (Lankan time.) The flight will depart from Sri Lanka at 9:40 am and arrive in the Maldives at 11:20 am (Maldives time.)
Officials from the Maldivies told local media that around 9,000 Maldivians live in close to the Ratmalana Airport, and these flights would make travel easier for them.
Ratmalana Airport, established in 1935, was Sri Lanka’s first international airport. However, regional international operations were suspended in 1968.
Until the current administration recently authorised the use of the airport for regional operations to South Asian countries, it was used for domestic operations and to accommodate private jets.
CAASL had announced Sri Lanka has removed aircraft parking charges for one year, and suspended the airport service tax levied on passengers for one year to promote flights at Ratmalana.