Desert Run

Air Sahara will begin charter flights to Colombo from New Delhi on Friday, becoming the first domestic carrier to fly out of India.

This follows a recent decision to deregulate Indo-Lanka travel after the last meeting between the Prime Ministers of the two countries. rn

rnTravel Director of Air Saharas local agent Jetwing, Sunil Pieris, says Fridays flight is a special charter, and the go ahead for regular scheduled flights is still pending.rn

rnA new air services agreement is due to be signed between the two countries, following the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to be signed next year.rn

rnThough ex-Colombo seats are fully utilized by Sri Lankan Airlines, unutilized passenger rights remain ex-India, as the state owned Indian carrier does not have sufficient equipment to fully service the sector.rn

rnAs a result Indian authorities have been under pressure from both Indian airlines and Sri Lankan authorities to permit Indian private carriers to operate to the Colombo sec