Sri Lanka’s John Keells, Phoenix Ventures floats local air taxi service

August 02, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holding PLC has joined with Phoenix Ventures Limited to start a 6.8 million dollar domestic air taxi service, a statement said. Saffron Aviation (Pvt) Ltd, will be a 8.4 million dollar project becoming the second such air taxi operator after national carrier SriLankan Airlines.

The start-up fleet will consist of two Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian aircraft (seating nine passengers each) and one wheeled Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft (seating 12 passengers) that would provide the flexibility for the airline to operate from any of the domestic and international airportsas well as from waterdromes in Sri Lanka, a statement said Thursday.

The domestic air taxi service, flying under the brand name ˜Cinnamon Air’ will fill a critical void in the current tourism offering in Sri Lanka by providing a unique service of scheduled daily flights linking the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) with key holiday locations on the South West coast, the East Coast (in the summer season), Kandy, the Cultural Triangle and Hambantota/Yala. Flights to and from the BIA will largely connect with arrival and departure flight timings of the