Two Indian airline operators, Alliance Air (an Indian regional airline, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India) and IndiGo (an Indian low-cost airline headquartered at Haryana in India), have expressed interest to operate flights to the Palaly International Airport. (JAF). “But no final decisions had been taken so far.”
When contacted, an official from SriLankan Airlines said that they too are keen to operate flights to Palali when the runway is extended. “Our fleet of aircraft does not have smaller aircraft (under 80 seats) that could currently land in JAF. When the runway is lengthened, JAF would certainly be an option,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Controller General of the Immigration and Emigration Department Pasan Ratnayake, said that they are ready to provide immigration and emigration services as and when required.Minister of Tourism John Amaratunge said that the opening of the Jaffna Airport would also help increase tourism arrivals, especially from India. “The free visa facility too would help us to take the industry to over 2 million arrivals this year.”
The Minister said that Sri Lanka expects a major tourism boost from the 10-day spiritual ‘Bora’ Globle Convention drawing 25,000 religious visitors from 40 countries from next week. “This would also net in around US$ 50 million revenue to the country and help Sri Lanka Tourism to post around Rs. 4 billion revenue by the end of 2019.” He said that up to yesterday, over Rs. 400 million worth of hotel bookings have been made for this conference. “The last ‘Bora’ Global Convention’ held in Colombo in 2007, only witnessed around 12, 000 visitors and this year too the number has doubled,” he said.