Tough competition from bus services plying the North and East routes and the expected slowdown in the number of Sri Lankan expatriates returning to catch a glimpse of their once time home could force local operators to absorb the increased cost of jet fuel and keep ticket prices at the current levels.
A senor official from one local operation told LBO a fuel surcharge was unlikely, as an increase in the cost of domestic air travel will further erode already dwindling business. rn
rnThe increased number of comfortable road transport services to and from the North and East at less than a quarter of the cost of air travel was picking passengers by the busload.rn
rnOfficials also note that diesel, unlike jet fuel continues to be heavily subsidised by the government, with the treasury and the state petroleum giant called on to absorb the additional cost. rn
rnIndustry officials say, the dearth in demand, estimated to be 50 per cent less since mid 2003, could force them to absorb the increasing fuel c