Free Skies

Oct 11, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has won additional flights to Indian metropolitan cities Mumbai and Bangalore, following a round of talks with India this week on liberalising air services.

We have got seven additional frequencies a week to Mumbai in addition to the seven at present, as well as seven more frequencies to Bangalore,” a top official with the Ministry of Ports and Aviation, told LBO on Wednesday.

Additional flights to Bangalore will be effective from winter 2008, until India completes construction of a new airport, scheduled to be open at that time.

Sri Lanka has also got access for unlimited daily flights to two new destinations Pune and Coimbatore in India, in addition to the 18 tourist cities a designated Sri Lankan carrier can fly to.

Under a bilateral air services agreement signed with India in 1948, a Sri Lankan carrier gets unlimited access to 18 tourist cities and restricted access to six metropolitan cities.

Sri Lanka gets seven frequencies each to metropolitan cities Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Calcutta and 15 weekly flights to Chennai. India gets reciprocal rights to Sri Lanka in turn.

National carrier Sr