Soaring demand for flights to Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 August 2002, 21:14 GMT]
More airlines are set to start flights to Jaffna while present operators intend to expand services to meet soaring demand for seats, the state-owned Daily News reported Saturday. Sri Lanka's only domestic airline in operation, Expo Aviation (Pvt) Ltd, servicing the Colombo-Jaffna route is doing brisk business with over 11,000 seats being sold within the last two months, the paper said.

But aviation sources said that more domestic airlines plan to enter the lucrative Colombo-Jaffna sector. Some of them have already advertised for recruitment of personnel.

"Business is good and with the peace initiative moving forward more and more people feel good about air travel," a senior official of Expo Aviation (Pvt) told the Daily News.

According to him, the airline which commenced flights in the third week of June this year, has sold 5,000 seats in June, 6,500 seats in July and 1,500 seats during the first week of August alone.

Before Expo took to the air, two other private airlines and the Air Force (Helitours) flew to Jaffna but the two private operators terminated flights due to security risks.

"At present we operate nine flights per week except on Sunday but plans are afoot to increase flights to two per day after August 13. We also hope to operate a flight on Sunday mornings," he said. The official said that if Weerawila and Koggala airports come online more flights could be scheduled to meet the growing demand.


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