Sri Lanka to get weekly tourist flights from Brussels

Sept 09, 2010 (LBO) – Weekly charter flights are to be launched between Brussels and Sri Lanka bringing Belgian and other European tourists from October 31, Jean Deboutte, Ambassador of Belgium to Sri Lanka said. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium Ravinatha Aryasinha told the meeting the weekly charter flights will be by Jetair, a leading Belgian tour operator which has teamed up with the Thomas Cook travel agency. “The flights will be first on charter and later be done on a regular basis,” the envoy, resident in New Delhi, told a meeting of the Sri Lanka -Benelux Business Council at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Belgium is also reviewing its travel advisory warning tourists against visiting certain areas in Sri Lanka to reflect the new situation with the end of the war, he said.

Tourist arrivals to the island have increased sharply since its 30-year ethnic war ended in May 2009 and travel warnings were removed.

Hotels are reporting heavy bookings in the forthcoming peak season which coincides with the northern hemisphere winter.

“Now that the situation in Sri Lanka has fundamentally changed our travel advisory will also be fundamentally changed,” Deboutte said.