National airline SriLankan recently announced a float plane-based air taxi service linking domestic destinations including the Kelani river, the Negombo lagoon, the Tissamaharama tank, Bentota, Kandy, Ampara, Nuwara Eliya, Koggala, Dickwella, and Dambulla.
Further, according to the airline's announcement, a key offering of this new air taxi will be 30-minute tours which promise "some of the most breathtakingly scenic views of Sri Lanka’s multi-faceted variety and panoramic diversity at just 1500 feet to 3000 feet above sea level."
Additionally, it was also revealed these tours, which will initially be flown out of water bases including the Negombo lagoon, the Kelani river and the southern tourist hotspots of Koggala and Bentota, would be priced at Rs. 5,000 per passenger, from Colmbo, where the service would be offered on weekends only, while flights out of the south would cost Rs. 7,000; all operated using two Twin Otter aircraft, each with a capacity of up to 15 passengers.
A "typical" Negombo lagoon flight would span the country's western plains and rivers as well as beaches in Negombo and Wattala, while Kelani river departures would additionally show the Kelani Temple and Colombo city. Meanwhile, Koggala and Bentota departing flights would offer views of Sri Lanka's western plains and southern beaches.
According to the airline's Head of Worldwide Sales, Mohamed Fazeel; "We are confident that these scenic routes will rejuvenate domestic tourism. The plus is that it takes only half an hour to take a scenic route flight. We are primarily offering two kinds of flights. One which transports visitors from the BIA to destinations of their choice while the other is the 30 minutes scenic flights which both reveal and showcase the beauty of the country."