British Airways to return in March 2013View(s):
After over a 10-year hiatus, British Airways, UK’s national carrier, would be returning to Sri Lanka in March next year, civil aviation authorities said on Friday. The airline would operate from Gatwick to Colombo three times a week via Male, Director General Civil Aviation Authority (DGCA) H.M.C. Nimalsiri told the Business Times. Authorities have already given consent for British Airways to resume its flights to Colombo upon the carrier’s submission of its application for slot clearance. Currently only SriLankan Airlines operates to London seven times a week, it was pointed out. Hayleys has been the agents for the airline in Colombo. Meanwhile Cinnamon Air, the new domestic air taxi operations said this week it has established a joint venture with Brandix, JKH and MMBL Leisure. The Business Times learns that the new airline has got special permission to operate a hangar at the BIA.
The company is making an initial investment of US$ 6.8 million out of a total planned investment of $8.4 million. Out of this about US$6.5 million has been invested in the aircraft that consist of two Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian aircraft (seating 9 passengers each) and one wheeled Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft (seating 12 passengers).
Operations would commence by December 2012 or January 2013 for which approval is being sought from the DGCA, the joint venture Saffron Aviation Director Romesh David told the Business Times. He noted that they would be targeting 15-20% of the tourists who are able to afford air transfers. In particular this operation is likely to suit tourists on shorter stays as in Chinese, India and the Western European traveller. While competition was expected, Mr. David observed that they believed there was still room for others to come in.
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