Minister of Tourism, Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga has instructed the officials to resume Colombo -Jaffna flights which were suspended due to the Covid pandemic. Accordingly, the flights are scheduled to resume in the middle of next month.
Flights from Colombo-Ratmalana Airport to Jaffna-Palaly Airport were operated twice a week before the country was closed down in March last year. It could not be restarted due to the Covid pandemic. The Minister has instructed that flights be resumed adhering to the health guidelines. The Minister has also instructed the Airport and the Aviation Services Company to look into the possibility of making daily domestic flights between Colombo and Jaffna which were operated twice a week before the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.
Meanwhile, the government is focusing on the speedy resumption of Jaffna-Chennai direct flights which were suspended due to the Covid pandemic. It will be also done according to health guidelines. The government has also focused on the development of the Palaly Airport in Jaffna, which has been hampered by the Covid outbreak. Special attention will also be paid in that regard in the future.
Jaffna Palaly Airport was established during the Second World War. It became Sri Lanka's second international airport after independence and Air Ceylon operated flights to South Indian destinations. LTTE terrorism disrupted operations at Palaly Airport after 1980 and in 2002 it came under the control of the Sri Lanka Air Force. The re-building of this airport as an international airport commenced in 2010 with the end of the LTTE terrorist war during the reign of President, H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa.