By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW): In a significant achievement amidst economic crisis, Sri Lanka’s aviation sector has posted a substantial profit of Rs. 22 billion in the period spanning from January to August 2023, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva revealed.
The Minister highlighted that approximately Rs. 10 billion from this profit has already been contributed to the Treasury, providing a much-needed boost to the country’s finances.
The Minister highlighted the success of operations at Palali International Airport, emphasizing that the airport has completed 200 flights.
This achievement underscores the airport’s increasing significance and efficiency in handling air travel.
The Minister acknowledged the challenges faced by the aviation sector in the past, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, reduced tourist arrivals, and a dollar crisis that affected fuel supply for airplanes.
He mentioned that, at one point, fuel for airplanes had to be procured by sending aircraft to Madras to obtain the necessary fuel.
To address these challenges, the Minister of Petroleum and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva intervened and facilitated the import of aviation fuel by the private sector, ensuring a stable supply of fuel for airplanes.
Additionally, modern technology was employed to develop Bandaranaike International Airport, earning it recognition as a prominent airport in Southeast Asia.
Efforts were made to increase the frequency of flights by different airlines operating in Sri Lanka. This likely contributes to improved connectivity and accessibility for travellers.
These developments in the Sri Lankan aviation sector signify a positive turn in its financial performance, reflecting resilience in overcoming challenges.
The government’s interventions, such as facilitating fuel supply and enhancing airport infrastructure, have contributed to this success.
Increased profitability in the aviation sector is expected to have a positive impact on the country’s overall economic stability.
“Additionally, it is noteworthy that the operations at Palali International Airport continue to demonstrate remarkable success.
Specifically, the flight operations between Madras and Palali, which are scheduled three times a week, have already completed a total of 200 flights, underscoring the airport’s increasing prominence and efficiency.”
The Minister pointed out that Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake, once a scarcely frequented facility, has now evolved into a bustling aviation hub.
Notably, in the month of August, it catered to the needs of over 650,000 passengers.
This surge in passenger traffic has contributed significantly to its financial prosperity.
In parallel, a strategic initiative is currently underway to attract potential investors to the Mattala Airport.
Furthermore, measures have been put in place to actively mitigate the airport’s operational losses, thereby ensuring its long-term sustainability and financial health.”