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Uzbekistan Airways commences operations to MRIA 

Uzbekistan Airways commenced operations at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport yesterday (9). 

The airline will operate a weekly flight between Uzbekistan and Mattala every Wednesday.

Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Pvt.) Ltd. (AASL) met with the airline at the Air Service World Congress 2021 Forum, held in Dubai last December, and had extensive discussions with Uzbekistan Airways, and as a result, the airline will start operations at MRIA.

The team from AASL represented the Air Service World Congress 2021 Forum and was able to attract the airline based on the government concessions provided to airlines. This initiative will increase the tourist arrival numbers in the country and establish a new source market for the tourism industry of Sri Lanka.

Even amidst the Covid-19 pandemic situation during the last two years, an increase in the number of passenger movements was witnessed with several foreign airlines operating their flights to MRIA. 

MRIA has seen significant growth in the arrival of international tourists in the past two years. At present, SkyUp Airlines and Gullivair Air are operating and have planned to continue scheduled charter flights. So far during January 2022, these airlines have carried more than 2,900 tourist arrivals into the country.

“With renewed hopes on the aviation industry, AASL has been promoting MRIA to international airlines and tour operators. We are extremely delighted to see Uzbekistan Airways commencing charter operations connecting new destinations with MRIA. I am sure that this initiative will support the tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka post pandemic and strengthen the economic co-operation between Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka. We have been continuing our efforts to make sure that our airports are operated in compliance with the international standards of health and safety. Further, we plan to continually develop and expand the aviation industry of Sri Lanka and provide an exotic travel experience to passengers,” said AASL Chairman Maj. Gen. (Retd.) G.A Chandrasiri.

“With the view to drive air service development and destination marketing focusing largely on creating awareness, AASL attended the Air Service World Congress 2021 Forum held in Dubai in December 2021. We had discussions with Uzbekistan airlines and many others, and were extremely happy to see that Uzbekistan Airways will be commencing its charter flights initially to MRIA, and we will continue to negotiate with the airline to commence eventual scheduled flight operations to Sri Lankan airports. Travellers from Uzbekistan will enjoy ease of access to their preferred travel destinations in the island, such as  wildlife parks, beaches, and cultural and religious attractions, which have made MRIA an attractive airport for tourism. AASL has been taking aggressive steps to promote Mattala as an ‘exotic tourism destination airport’ targeting the hotspots for international tourists such as Ella, Yala, Arugam Bay, Udawalawe, etc.,” said AASL Director – Operations (All Airports) Shehan Sumanasekara.