The airlines’ first commercial flight to Sri Lanka (Mattala and Colombo) from Abu Dhabi Al Bateen Airport departed on Thursday morning at 01:00hrs.
Shaikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan, Chairman of Rotana Jet; Dr. Mahinda Balasuriya, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the UAE; along with a high profile delegation were on board the inaugural flight.
The flight was welcomed and greeted at Mattala Airport by Professor G. L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs; Priyankara Jayaratna, Minister of Civil Aviation; Abdul Hameed Abdul Fatah Kadhim, Ambassador of UAE for Sri Lanka; as well as senior officials.Airline officials said the two-year old carrier will operate three flights a week from Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi to Sri Lanka’s main Bandaranaike International Airport just outside Colombo and the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota.
The airline will use an Airbus A319 aircraft with both business and economy class seats.
In a statement, the airline said it planned to increase flights to six per week later. Schedules were finalised during recent discussions in Colombo between Piyankara Jayaratne and Ravindra Ruberu.
The carrier is a charter and scheduled service operator that initially conducted domestic operations with flights to Bahrain, Muscat, Salalah, Sir Bani Yas island, Fujairah, Delma and Dubai.
Rajendran Vellapalath, Rotana Jet’s commercial and planning director, said: “Rotana Jet is glad to announce Colombo and Mattala as its first international destination’s outside the GCC. The Sri Lankan expatriate community and the increasing number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka will have greater access with the newly introduced flights from Rotana Jet. We take this opportunity to thank the authorities of Sri Lanka for extending their support in making this new service a reality and we are delighted to contribute to the connectivity between UAE and Sri Lanka with a good product and affordable fares.”
Dr Shaikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Rotana Jet, said: “We are extremely glad to introduce our first international flights out of the GCC to Sri Lanka especially at a time when Sri Lanka is transforming as a tourist destination. For Rotana Jet this is a significant step at a time when the economy of Sri Lanka is growing.”
Dr Shaikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Rotana Jet also called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Carlton House in Tangalle Thursday morning.