Cargo volumes decline, pax, aircrafts up
Sri Lanka’s airport statistics in the first 8 months indicate a significant increase in passengers and aircrafts and a drop in cargo.
International passenger movements has seen a 35.78 per cent increase in the first eight months this year at 4,894,740 passengers compared to the same period last year, officials said.
An increase of 19.34 per cent in international aircraft movements was observed in the first eight months of this year compared to 2022.
Sri Lanka has served 36 airlines in 2023 with 30 operating to the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA); five airlines to the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA); and one airline to the Jaffna International Airport (JIA).
But cargo movements have seen a decrease of approximately 15.46 per cent during the first 8 months of 2023 compared to the same period last year.
Cargo handling facilities indicate a capacity of 250,000 MT per annum with cold room and freezer room, bonded area and custom strong room and animal rooms available.
Several new flights were launched by about three airlines this year with Air Seychelles commencing operations on June 21; Vistara Airlines resuming flights on March 1; and Batik Air resuming flights on May 12.
There were also a number of notable airlines resuming flight operations to the MRIA that included Red Wing Airline, Uzbekistan Airways, Electra Airways, European Air Charter and SCAT Airlines. However only one is operating at present.
Meanwhile with Alliance Air resuming operations in December 2022 with flights to JIA there have been queries from two other airlines that included IndiGo as well to commence operations to this airport. Air Alliance initiated operations with four flights per week and later increased to 7 flights per week.
There has also been an increase of 77.31 per cent of tourists arriving this year by air in the first 8 months compared to the same period last year. It is expected that 1.3- 1.5 million tourists will use the airport facilities this year.
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