AASL to promote Ratmalana, Mattala airports through incentives to budget airlines

The Airport & Aviation Services in Sri Lanka (AASL) is offering a host of incentives to international budget airlines to fly to the Ratmalana International Airport and the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA).

The incentives include subsidised air handling and fuel charges, AASL Chairman Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) G. A. Chandrasiri told The Sunday Morning Business today (22) afternoon.

“If airlines are interested they must come and discuss with us. We are giving all the facilities they could ever need. They will never get a package like this anywhere in Asia,” he said.

He added that the AASL is scheduled to have a meeting with Maldivian, the national carrier of the Maldives, later today (22) to encourage them to fly to Ratmalana.

The main aim of these initiatives is to boost annual tourist arrival figures by 20%. In addition, it is also expected to reduce congestion at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), which has a capacity to handle 6 million passengers per annum but is currently handling around 10 million.

It would also benefit the tourists who are visiting the coastal areas Down South, due to the shorter distance from the airport.

The AASL said it is also providing several benefits and facilities to domestic airlines to begin new ventures using Ratmalana or Mattala as a hub.

The Ratmalana airport was classified as an international airport in October 2019, from its status as a domestic airport prior to that.