Hot Air

Government plans to make Sri Lanka an air-hub after finalising a deal with the management partner of the national carrier.
State aviation officials are drawing up a cabinet paper recommending freer access for airlines to the countrys airports.rn

rnThese plans come amidst ongoing discussions between the government and Emirates Airlines to renegotiate the national carriers privatisation agreement.rn

rnThe present agreement prevents the government from allowing other airlines to use Sri Lanka as a base.rn

rnldblquote At the moment the shareholders agreement signed between the SriLankan government and Emirates precludes that from happening till 2006. However, I am sure that will be on the negotiating table,
dblquote says SriLankan CEO Peter Hill.rn

rnSriLankan also enjoys a monopoly on ground handling till 2008. rn

rnLocal aviation officials say that they would like to see ground handling charges being halved to be more competitive with other international hub airports.rn

rnAviation analysts s