The expansion of Sri Lanka’s road network is not keeping pace with the requirement to cater to the increase in tourism and the projection of 2.5 million tourists by 2016. Tourists do not like to spend 3 to 4 hours in a bus to see even the most interesting of places after spending so many hours flying into the country.
Speaking to the Business Times, Infotechs (Pvt) Ltd Chairman Susantha Pinto said, “Even at this moment the road network is taxed to the limit and it will only get more congested in time to come. The only viable alternative available is to fly. For that purpose the best is the Cessna aircraft. Today people like to travel and they have to be able to get from one point to another in the shortest possible time. With the security situation improving it is now time to open the way in domestic air transport.”
The ‘Cessna’, launched this week by Infotechs, is ideally suited for this purpose because it has several advantages. It has been designed to land on most terrain and does not require a very long runway. With adaptations it can even land on water.
The plane can carry a maximum of 12 passengers or it can be customized to suit individual requirement. It is also a very versatile aircraft that can be converted to carry anything from freight to patients.
The cost of operating is US$ 2.23 per nautical mile. This plane also has a range of 1698km without re-fueling. This makes this plane one of the most economical to use, Mr Pinto added.
The media was taken on a demonstration flight in the Grand Caravan last week. “We have family of Cessna models which can customized to suit each company’s requirement, whether the need is for freight forwarding, passenger travel, special missions or floats for water based operations,” said Cessna Aircraft Company Vice President International Sales, Robert Gibbs. The Grand Caravan consists of exceptionally tough landing gear which facilitates landing on any terrain including gravel, grass, pavements and with floats, on water.