Short Flight

Three local airlines are on a six-month test run to India for a licence to fly international, but sentiments are mixed, with some fearing a crowded airspace. Three local airlines are on a six-month test run to India for a licence to fly international, but sentiments are mixed, with some fearing a crowded airspace. Last week, the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAA) gave three airlines – domestic operators Expo Aviation and Deccan Air and new entrant Holiday Air, provisional licences to fly to India.

The provisional licence opens up 18 potential destinations in India, with airlines given six months to satisfy CAA conditions including adequate capital resources, trained personnel and aircraft on the ground.

Based on performance, other routes applied for by all operators, like Singapore, Bangkok, Male, Dhaka and destinations in the Middle East, are to be rolled out.

“Within six months, they will have to comply with all our requirements and if they can satisfy that, then other routes will be offered. If it is not satisfied, then the licence will be revoked,” H M C Nimalsiri, Director General of the CAA, told LBO.

Crowded Runway