Slow Take-Off

Ma 06 (LBO) – Only two of the three airlines that were given provisional approval to fly international out of Sri Lanka have submitted detailed business plans so far, civil aviation officials said.

Last year, the government gave three out of nine applicants provisional approval to start international commercial passenger services.

Expo Aviation, Holiday Air and Deccan Aviation were asked to submit detailed business and financial plans within the first few months of this year.

Expo Aviation and Holiday Air are the only two to have submitted business plans to date, which are being studied. Expo currently operates domestic flights to the northern city of Jaffna.

“We have yet to receive the proposal from one airline,” HMC Nimalasiri, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority told LBO on Monday.

Last year, the government gave the three airlines provisional approval to fly to Indian destinations, with additional routes approved after the airlines start operations.

“We want them to them to operate for at least six months, so that we can see how competent they are before being introduced to other destinations, apart from what we have designated now,” Nimalsiri said.