Govt. to get Russian, Chinese flights to Mattala

20 April 2012 08:47 pm - 24     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lankan aviation authorities will meet Chinese and Russian aviation officials to negotiate for an increase in flights to Sri Lanka and to request that these flights land at the Hambantota Mattala Airport to be opened in November.

A Civil Aviation Ministry source said European markets had cut down on flights to Sri Lanka as many tourists considered it to be an expensive destination. He said this had compelled Sri Lanka to seek and improve alternative markets.

He said Sri Lanka’s close allies and world super powers China and Russia fit the bill.

 Sri Lanka is expected to negotiate with China and Russia for an increase in tourist arrivals and flights to Sri Lanka before the opening of the Mattala Airport.

The construction of the airport is almost complete with about 90 per cent of the airfield, the surrounding road network and a water tower nearing completion. The airport control tower, passenger terminal, cargo terminal and fire and rescue facilities are about 50 per cent complete. Mattala Airport spreading across a 2,000 hectare land area is being built at an estimated cost of USD 209 million.

Meanwhile the Ports Authority recently announced it would divert all vehicle imports from the Colombo Port to the Hambantota Port because of the ample space available and shorter turnaround delays. (Olindhi Jayasundere)


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  Comments - 24

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  • Selo Sunday, 22 April 2012 04:27 AM

    Fitting name and sounds cool too " Matta la Airport" totally reflects the decision maker of this project!!

    Shifaz Saturday, 21 April 2012 01:44 PM

    King Mahinda is going to buy his private plain fleet so problem sorted. He can coummute to work daily from his home town. Lets build another one in Baira lake

    ran goja Sunday, 22 April 2012 05:41 AM

    ........and they can taste meekiri and dodhol too.

    Ajith Sunday, 22 April 2012 05:55 AM

    wow...and we can operate Thailand based tourism....Chinese and Russians are very famous for that in Sri Lanka... We could also get more money, if the loitering charges increase from RS 10/- to RS 1,000 at least...lol....

    Moderatemuslim Sunday, 22 April 2012 06:16 AM

    *giggle*

    Nodrog Saturday, 21 April 2012 02:55 PM

    Make it a transit point or refueling stop for aircraft flying West as the infrastructure is woefully insufficient and impractical to handle passengers.

    Refused to bribe Sunday, 22 April 2012 06:50 AM

    Well the Russian tourists in Thailand buy package cheap holidays, they buy their drink in the shops and do not spend much money in the local economy. The Chinese travel in groups & rarely mix with the locals
    If Europe see's Sri lanka as expensive then why do they think the Chinese & Russians won't ????
    Neither of these 2 groups will be good for the people this country, only the few select rich will benefit.
    Still more foreigners to kill in Tangalle, should keep the politicians busy

    aby Saturday, 21 April 2012 03:00 PM

    LOL.... at least now we will have a fully fledged AIR University where we can train the future pilots

    simple mind Saturday, 21 April 2012 03:04 PM

    Yes as you speak chinese tourists are being released ona a quota basis. This is evident from the recent arrest of two chinese women for loitering.

    panda Saturday, 21 April 2012 03:02 PM

    We can expect some Tupolevs and Ilyushins to crash land in down-south then.

    Lankan. Saturday, 21 April 2012 09:02 AM

    again goods prices will be high to develop H.tota.

    sam Saturday, 21 April 2012 05:16 PM

    mattala airport situated monaragala. not hambanthota.

    SLBoy Saturday, 21 April 2012 05:58 PM

    Hambanthota would be a good hub for tourists too. Those trourist who plan to spend their vacation in that part of the country can take a flight directly to Hambanthota and go to the cities nearby rather than having to come to Colombo and then travelling to those parts of the country. I think this is a good move

    senthil Saturday, 21 April 2012 06:05 PM

    SL Boy,
    Care tell me what is the city nearby

    Lankan Saturday, 21 April 2012 09:24 AM

    again goods prices will be high to develop the H.tota.

    Jack Saturday, 21 April 2012 09:56 AM

    ofcourse he is talkig with sence !. You can get them cheaply to land where ever you want.

    John Saturday, 21 April 2012 10:02 AM

    Who cares about the environment when these planes and the infrastructure needs destroy an already threatened and fragile ecosystem of wild life and ancient pristine forests with increased commercial activities...... to merely satisfy relatively few.

    dagobert Saturday, 21 April 2012 10:39 AM

    Chinese tourists can be released on quota to visit Sri Lanka.
    It were they who propped up Hong Kong economy after 1997 handover of HK to brittain.

    Today, the HK retail & Hotel Industry are thriving.

    Mischief hidden in this DM newsclip. Therefore SL does not need enemies from outside, they are internals to destroy the country.

    Good Will Needed Saturday, 21 April 2012 11:59 AM

    Come on! At the moment, what serious tourist wants to land in Hambanthota and then have a 2 -5 hour transit to the capital? Just how many nice hotels are there in the area--at the moment? How long to get to Galle from there?

    Reality Check Saturday, 21 April 2012 12:06 PM

    One cannot compare Hong Kong and Hambanthota. In 1997 HK was already a thriving metropolis when it was handed over to China, not to Britain. Hambanthota at the moment is nothing but a hamlet with village mentality. And the Chinese tourists who are coming and who have money and who will come to Sri Lanka will not want to be plopped down in a village hours away from the amenities of the capital.

    weha Saturday, 21 April 2012 04:28 AM

    How many passengers use those plains?

    sxhabeeb Saturday, 21 April 2012 04:37 AM

    Russia & Chinese realy cheap to get go.... even get caught Rs. 10/ Fine....

    Soma sundaram Saturday, 21 April 2012 06:15 AM

    what is the nosense you are speaking SXHABEEB, your comments are not related to the topic....

    Uncle Sam Sunday, 22 April 2012 04:21 AM

    "many tourists considers SL an expensive destination" Ah so the Chinese and the Russians are the rich lot.


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