International flights to begin from Ratmalana | Daily News

International flights to begin from Ratmalana

Embarkation tax reduced by 50%

The government will provide concessions for airlines that start scheduled flights from the Ratmalana Airport from March 27.

This is expected to reduce the airport embarkation tax levied by these airlines by 50%, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said.

He also added that the relevant cabinet memorandum has been submitted for cabinet approval.

After 55 years, the Ratmalana International Airport is scheduled to resume its international flights from March 27. Fits Air, a Sri Lankan private airline and a Maldivian airline, have already agreed to this, the Minister said.

Previously, the embarkation tax at the Ratmalana Airport was reduced by 50% for one year from October 1, 2020.According to the new proposal, airlines that start scheduled flights from Ratmalana Airport from March 27 will be charged only US$ 30 from the US$ 60 departure tax.

The Ratmalana International Airport is planned to be popularized as a new destination for low cost flights. The Minister said that the potential of the Ratmalana airport for such regional operations has been identified and the Civil Aviation Authority and the Airport and Aviation Company have invested funds in this regard.

The government is also working to transform the Ratmalana Airport into an international airport serving a regional destination. Minister Prasanna Ranatunga further stated that the government will take steps to start direct flights to the Maldives after 55 years.

The Ratmalana International Airport was established in 1938 and regional international flights were not operational due to the commencement of flights from Katunayake International Airport in 1968.Ratmalana Airport is being redeveloped as a regional international airport and is an implementation of a proposal made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his policy statement to develop Sri Lanka as a regional aviation hub.Following the coming to power of the present government, steps have been taken to develop the Ratmalana International Airport in five major areas.

It is to be developed as a local aviation hub, a recreational aviation centre and an aviation training centre.

In addition, measures will be taken to promote the importation of private jets to Sri Lanka targeting high income earners and to meet the requirements of technical parking services for private aircraft such as aircraft refueling will also be provided.

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