Sri Lanka military gets two Chinese passenger transports

Image courtesy of Sanjeewa Dayarathne (www.Feedback.lk)

Oct 01, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Air Force Friday took delivery of two 56 seat twin engine turboprop aircraft from China which could be used for regional civillian passenger applications, an official said. “We haven’t got that far but we are looking at the possibility,” Air Force spokesman Group Captain Andrew Wijesuriya said.

The Chinese-built Xian-MA60 turboprop passenger aircraft will be operated by the Sri Lanka Air Force’s commercial arm, Helitours for domestic flights.

Helitours already operates domestic flights from the Ratmalana airbase to Anuradhapura, Batticoloa, Palaly, China Bay and Ampara.

The Air Force said the acquisition of the two MA60 aircraft will “offer a superior service with enhanced comforts on domestic flights.”

“The SLAF is confident that these aircraft will be put to good use in meeting the ever growing need for air travel in the region,” an Air Force statement said.

The Air Force said both aircraft are civil registered.

The MA-60 is a Chinese development variant of a Russia’s 1959-designed Antonov An24 and the later An26.

It is built by AVIC, a division of China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation or CATIC.

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