Clearing Space

The Civil Aviation Authority is pushing for the state greenlight to open up its air routes for a second local carrier, and draw up the ground rules for operation. The Civil Aviation Authority is pushing for the state greenlight to open up its air routes for a second local carrier, and draw up the ground rules for operation. SriLankan Airlines bilateral monopoly on air routes as the country’s sole national carrier, ended in April this year, though the government is yet to call for interested bids.

“We will be presenting a proposal to Cabinet for a second carrier, in anticipation of calling for bids,” Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), H Nimalsiri told Lanka Business Online in an interview.

“What we want from the government is the greenlight in principle, to look at this and then start identifying the criteria.”

Already, the CAA has received about five interested offers, including all three domestic operators, Lion Air, Aero Lanka – former Serendib Air, and Expo Aviation.

All three are certified domestic carriers, currently operating the Colombo to Jaffna run. The other two are new applicants Ronan Air and Holiday Air.