Minister of Tourism, Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga says that 07 airlines are ready to commence direct flights to Sri Lanka.  He hopes that the airlines will commence flights to Sri Lanka before the end of this year.

Of these, five airlines have already agreed to operate at the Katunayake Airport.  Russia's AEROFOLT Airlines is scheduled to commence flights on November 4, and Russian airline AZUR AIR is scheduled to commence flights on November 11.  Their special flights are scheduled to commence on the 30th.  Italian airline NEOS and French airline AIRFRANCE are scheduled to launch new flights to Katunayake Airport from November 1. Bangladesh US BANGLA AIRLINES is also scheduled to launch flights to Katunayake Airport from November 1.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga said that Israel's ARKIA and Switzerland's SWISSAIR are willing to commence direct flights with Sri Lanka.  The Minister pointed out that further action will be taken in this regard in the future.  At present, 16 airlines operate passenger operations at the Katunayake Airport.  There are 08 airlines operating cargo operations at the Katunayake Airport.  Four airlines operate special flights to Katunayake Airport.

Meanwhile, four international airlines are also considering to commence new operations at Mattala Airport.  The Minister said that discussions are underway in this regard and that the four airlines are expected to commence flights from the Mattala Airport in the near future.

With the relaxation of health guidelines, more tourists are expected to visit the country.  The Tourism Development Authority is already implementing several special tourism promotion campaigns in European countries.  The aim is to attract more European tourists to Sri Lanka this coming winter.  Minister of Tourism, Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga further stated that he expects to give wide publicity about Sri Lanka through tourism exhibitions, activities as well as media and social media campaigns of those countries.

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