Sri Lanka domestic aviation eyed by US aircraft maker

Feb 15, 2011 (LBO) – US aircraft Cessna is eyeing Sri Lanka’s fledgling domestic aviation industry after the end of a 30-year war has prompted liberalization of the sector and a tourism boom is increasing demand for international flights. “Because of the stability and peace in the country Sri Lanka now has a moment where you can grow and expand,” says Robert Gibbs, regional vice president for Asia, Canada and Latin America and Cessna Aircraft Company.

“We feel this is the moment when the market here is read; because there is freedom to travel, a need to encourage tourism, and encourage development around the country.”

Cessna and their agents for Sri Lanka and Maldives, Infotechs, demonstrated it Grand Caravan aircraft in Sri Lanka this week which can carry around 12 passengers and also comes with an optional underbelly cargo pod.

The Grand Caravan comes with a price tag of around two million US dollars.

“Domestic aviation is still in its baby stage,” says Michelle Pinto, group general manager at Infotechs.

“We would very help anyone with regards to operating a Cessna with financing and support. We have had some positive response (for the aircraft) so far.”

Cessna has its own financing arm which a start up