Ground handling charges, aviation fuel, and embarkation levy have been reduced at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to boost air transport and tourism which has suffered since the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks.
The Sri Lankan government’s cabinet has approved a proposal according to local media reports in Sri Lanka.
A paper was tabled by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority together with the PM’s office, the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga and the Civil Aviation Authority.
The move and implementation of reductions in aviation-related discounts is being done to encourage airlines to reduce the cost of airline tickets and combine these specially priced tickets with the discounts being offered by hotels and restaurants in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority is going to work closely with the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR), and the Sri Lanka Association of Airline Representatives (SLAAR) to ensure these lowered rates are reflected in the airline ticket pricing going forward.
Sri Lanka’s air traffic and tourism sectors have taken hit since the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks on 21 April this year.
Reports claim before the attacks. 29 airlines were serving Sri Lanka offering 300 flights per week, but after the attacks connectivity was reduced to 239 flights per week resulting in a total of 41 flights cancellations, amounting to a loss of seat supply by 8,000 per week from six countries – China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Oman, and Thailand.
Foreign airlines notably low-cost carriers have reduced their flight frequencies to BIA but Russian carrier Rossiya Airlines, which stopped its two flights a week after the attacks has returned. The Aeroflot Group airline has resumed its twice a week service to Colombo from Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport.