Open Wide

Sri Lanka will lobby Malaysia for an Open Skies Agreement this week, freeing up more air routes between the countries, ahead of a second national airline making its entrance. Sri Lanka will lobby Malaysia for an Open Skies Agreement this week, freeing up more air routes between the countries, ahead of a second national airline making its entrance.

Talks are to open between the two governments on July 7 and 8 this week, to upgrade route allocations from the present 12 frequencies a week.

Five of those frequencies are still on a ‘Temporary Operating Permit’, pending further negotiation. Current national carrier SriLankan Airlines already uses 11 flights a week.

An Open Skies Agreement completely liberalises flights between countries, with no restrictions on routes or how many times airlines can fly.

An open skies deal will also offer beyond rights – which could allow a Sri Lankan carrier to pick up traffic from Malaysia and fly beyond to a third destination and vice versa, a senior official with the Civil Aviation Authority said.

The deal is also significant because Sri Lanka is to pick a second national carrier this year to operate alongside SriLankan Air