Airports re-open for tourists today | Daily News

Airports re-open for tourists today

14 passenger, cargo aircraft to land at BIA today:
MRIA to see greater activity:
Repatriation flights too continue:
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and AASL officials at the Bandaranaike International Airport yesterday.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and AASL officials at the Bandaranaike International Airport yesterday.

The Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake (BIA) will turn into a flurry of activity today after nine months with the arrival of 14 aircraft from an several destinations in Asian and Gulf Nations.

There are a total of 433 passengers billed to arrive in Colombo today. There will be both passenger and cargo flights which will be landing at Katunayake and the airlines which will be flying into Colombo will include SriLankan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Indigo Airlines, Oman Airways and Etihad, Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority Upul Dharmadasa told the Daily News yesterday.

Some of these airlines are returning to Colombo after a hiatus of nine months.

Civil Aviation Authority’s Air Services and Traffic Rights Manager Ishara Gunawardena told the Daily News that the first flight to arrive at the BIA would be Qatar Airways QR 668 at 2.05 a.m. which had 17 approved passengers.The second aircraft scheduled to land in Colombo was Cathay Pacific CX 018 Cargo, also at 2.15 a.m. And then minutes later, Indigo 6E9961 from Chennai. The fourth aircraft would be Sri Lankan UL 1508, carrying 76 passengers from the Saudi Arabian capital of Dammam which was tipped to land at 4.45 a.m.

The next passenger cum cargo aircraft scheduled to land at the BIA will be SriLankan flight UL 471 from the Korean City of Incheon at 5.50 a.m. and the sixth flight will be Oman Air WY 371 with 50 passengers at 7.45 am. The seventh flight will be Sri Lankan UL 232, a cargo flight. The eighth flight will be cargo carrier Indigo 6E9961 from Chennai at 10.15 a.m., followed by three SriLankan aircraft UL 102 from Male carrying 19 passengers and cargo billed to arrive at 11.40 a.m.,UL 184 from Karachi carrying two passengers and scheduled to arrive at 2.10 p.m., and UL 186 due to arrive at 5 pm.

There will also be an Etihad flight EY 943 cargo flight which will arrive at 5.40 p.m. which will be the 12th flight for the day.The13th will be SriLankan UL 202 which will bring in 186 Repatriation passengers from Bahrain at 18.30 and the 14th flight will be Emirates EK 648 which will bring in 75 passengers from Dubai at 2230, which will be the last flight for the day.

Gunawardena also said that this was only the start for the BIA and that the numbers will gradually start increasing with the passage of time. He said that despite the numbers being small, some of the flights will have large numbers when they fly outwards. Some of these SriLankan passenger flights also carried cargo as well which made the flights more financially viable, he said.

Meanwhile, the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport will have a SriLankan Airlines flight from Melbourne on Sunday at 0315 a.m. while SkyUp Airlines will fly in PQ 555 from Ukraine at 14.40pm.

All tourists arriving in the country must have negative PCR test reports and COVID-19 insurance to the value of US$ 50,000. They should also be available for further PCR tests during their stay, depending on the duration. All tours will be conducted in accordance with strict health guidelines and they can only stay in Safe and Secure certified hotels.