Sri Lanka, UK flights to increase

Apr 07, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is to sign an air services agreement with the United Kingdom enabling increased flights between the two countries, a government statement said. The air services agreement would enable the frequency entitlement to be increased to 21 flights a week from 14 today between the two countries.

The increased frequency of flights will be effective from the winter season of 2011-2012.

The island’s national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines has been wanting to increase flights to the UK to cater to increasing demand.

The UK has long been one of the key tourist generating markets for the island.

Tourist arrivals have been increasing since the country’s 30-year ethnic war ended in May 2009 and arrivals hit a record 654,000 in 2010, up 46 percent from the year before.

The authorities are expecting 750,000 arrivals in 2011 and plan to attract 2.5 million visitors by 2015.

The government statement said the Cabinet of ministers approved a proposal by civil aviation minister Priyankara Jayaratne to sign an air services agreement with the United Kingdom.