Sri Lanka air passenger handling up 3.3-pct in 2013

Apr 17, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka main international airport has handled 7.3 million passengers, including transit travellers, up 3.3 percent from a year earlier, while aircraft movements rose 5 percent to 50,802. During the year British Airways, Korean Airlines, Air Asia X and Turkish Airlines had started flying to to Sri Lanka from London, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul.

The Central Bank in its annual report said cargo handling also rose 3.9 percent.

The newly opened second airport in Mattala had handled 36,137 passengers and 1,362 aircraft. It has an annual capacity of one million passengers and 50,000 metric tonnes of cargo.

The main airport in Katunayake had started an expansion program which will see it being able to handle 9 million passengers by 2017 taking the total capacity to 15 million.

An extension to a domestic airport in Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka had started during the year. In Kandy in central Sri Lanka clearing had begun for a domestic airport. In Nuwara Eliya also in the hill country, a feasibility study had commenced for a new airport.