Limited Mobility

Sri Lanka is set to allow local private airlines to operate international flights using air service agreements the government enjoys with other countries, the aviation minister said Thursday. Sri Lanka is set to allow local private airlines to operate international flights using air service agreements the government enjoys with other countries, the aviation minister said Thursday. Nine local companies have applied for rights to make use of bilateral air agreements which currently remain under utilised, Mangala Samaraweera told reporters.

At least four private companies operate domestic flights while national carrier SriLankan, which is partly owned and fully managed by Emirates of Dubai, has a monopoly on international routes.

“Although nine have applied, we think there is room for only about two,” Samaraweera said, adding that the government would soon decide which companies would be awarded the rights to operate international flights.

Officials said all privileges enjoyed by a designated “national carrier” would be extended to the private airlines the government allows to undertake international operations.

Bilateral air services agreements enable an airline designate