Published on : Thursday, December 17, 2020
Sri Lanka is ready to resume international flights from December 26. This move comes after a hiatus of eight months with flight operations closed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) stated that it would be issuing directives for the travel industry regarding the opening of Sri Lanka’s airspace for charter flights and commercial flights operations.
Sri Lanka’s two international airports were shut down since mid-March, when the country went into a lockdown to tackle the virus spread. The nation gradually started easing restrictions by mid-May. Although there were plans to start operating the international flights by the end of August, COVID-19 cases in other countries led to postponing of the plans further.
Sri Lanka was affected by a second wave of corona virus in October. Earlier, the Sri Lankan Government postponed all repatriation flights after a COVID-19 group was detected at a garment manufacturing facility in Gampaha district.
However, the Foreign Ministry on COVID-19 Action and Director General East Asia said that around 40000 stranded Sri Lankan citizens from 122 counties have returned to the country until now.
The resumption of international flights will help Sri Lanka welcome foreign tourists soon, with all safety measures in place. Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga said that Sri Lanka should consider opening airports for tourism when the United States and Europe start initiating the COVID vaccination process.