“The flights to India from Palaly will restart soon, most probably by December 12”, told Sri Lanka’s Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva.
Sri Lanka restart flights from India
Sri Lanka will restart flights from the northern Jaffna peninsula to Chennai by next week, a senior aviation minister has stated, a move that will help the cash-strapped country’s Aviation sector and provide a fillip to its beleaguered economy.
The Aviation sector is the main source of foreign exchange earnings for Sri Lanka. However, the onset of the pandemic in 2020 severely crippled the Aviation sector and was one of the major reasons for Sri Lanka’s economic travails.
The island nation’s earnings from international traveler arrivals for November touched USD 107.5 billion, with the cumulative tally in the 1st eleven months of the year notching up a whopping USD 1129.4 million, according to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
Flight between Jaffna and Chennai
“The flights to India from Palaly will restart soon, most probably by December 12,” Sri Lanka’s Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva informed Parliament on Monday 5th December.
Flights will be operational between Jaffna and Chennai, the Aviation minister stated. “There are still some improvements to the runway that are required,” he said.
The present runway can only accommodate 75-seater flights. The airport was named the Jaffna international airport in October 2019. The 1st international flight to land there was from Chennai.
The 2019 redevelopment of the airport was funded by both Sri Lanka and India. Earlier, India’s Alliance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India, operated 3 weekly flights from India to Sri Lanka.
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However, after the government changed in Sri Lanka in November 2019, flight operations were halted. Sri Lanka is currently facing its worst economic crisis since its independence from Britain in 1948.
There have been street protests in Sri Lanka against the government since early April due to its mishandling of the economic crisis. In September, the IMF declared a USD 2.9 billion bailout package to support the country’s tide over its worst economic crisis.
A crippling shortage of foreign reserves has led to long queues for fuel, cooking gas, and other essentials while power cuts and soaring food costs have heaped misery on the people.
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