- Published on Monday, 25 March 2013 11:36
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The newly opened Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport has marked a satisfactory progress since its opening on March 18. A number of flights belonging to various airlines have landed in and taken off from the new airport.
A number of flights had taken off to Dubai, Sharjah, Riyadh, Beijing, Bangkok, Male and several other destinations from the airport.
Dubai's budget airline, flydubai which made a celebratory flight to the Mattala Airport as part of the official opening day celebrations, has made arrangements to operate three-times a week to Mattala from May 21.
The Sharjah-based United Arab Emirates national budget airlines Air Arabia is operating twice weekly non-stop services between Sharjah and Mattala beginning with the inaugural flight on March 18. The airline will increase services to Mattala four times a week from May 19 to accommodate summer travel.
Sri Lanka's budget airline Mihin Lanka operates flights to Buddha Gaya from the Mattala Airport.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Airport Authority and Airport Services Limited Prasanna Wickremasuriya said that several international aviation companies have made inquiries to start
new flights from Mattala. He said the number of flights will be increased during the upcoming tourist season in August.
The government has offered discount packages to pilgrims to Dambadiva and Mecca and migrant workers to West Asian countries when they use the new airport.
The Mattala Airport being located in close proximity to the Hambantota Port, Suriyawewa International Cricket Stadium, Yala National Park, Udawalawe Elephant reserve, Eastern beaches and several religious and historic places is expected to be a vibrant airport in the days to come. (niz)