Home » Direct flights between Chennai and Jaffna resume with tax bonanza

Direct flights between Chennai and Jaffna resume with tax bonanza

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India and Sri Lanka have taken giant step towards the restoration of a significant connectivity with the resumption of direct flights between Chennai and Jaffna on Monday 12 offering many concession.

Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIAHL resumed its direct services connecting Chennai and Jaffna yesterday, after nearly three-year pandemic-caused break.

The inaugural flight from Chennai post-2020 landed at the Jaffna International Airport in Palaly round 11.25 a.m.on day before yesterday.

Sri Lanka is taking off landing and parking charges, slashing embarkation taxes and ground handling fees at these airports to draw South Asian carriers, Minister Bandula Gunawardana said.

The cabinet of ministers had cleared a proposal by the Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister to boost operations at the Mattala, Ratmalana and Jafna airports.

The new concesstions included the removal of landing and parking fees, the lifting of 60 dollar embarkation tax on passengers for two years, discounts for ground handling. And the slashing of the embarkation tax for passengers by 50 percent for a year.

“India remains the top source market year-to-date for Sri Lanka and the resumption of Chennai and Jaffna direct flight will indeed be a big boost to draw more travelers from the neighbouring giant,” Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said.

As per the provisional data by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, India remains strong as the top tourist source market for year-to-date with a cumulative number of arrivals at 110,077.

The airline is all set to expand globally and commence commercial flight operations from Jaffna International Airport to Chennai International Airport with direct flight operations on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The Palaly airport was reopened as Jaffna International Airport on 11 November 2019, following the completion of the redevelopment project, with the support of India.

However, its operational activities were suspended from 15 March 2020 again, as a result of the COVID–pandemic.

At present, the JIA runway can only accommodate 75-seater flights and it is learned that the runway is expected to be redeveloped to accommodate larger aircrafts in future.

Being an island nation, Minister Fernando emphasized it was important to prioritize the tourism industry and change the overall attitude to develop the sector, as the third largest foreign exchange earner for the overall economy.

Sri Lanka has welcomed 25,024 tourists during the first 11-days of the month, pushing the YTD figure to 653,041.

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