The 100th flight service between Jaffna and Chennai was commemorated with cake cutting at the Jaffna International Airport.
There is no doubt that the start of air service between Jaffna and Chennai is a great service for the people of the north. However, it is expected that India should try to get the full benefits of that service to the people of the North.
On 2023-06-07, when the 100th service took place at Jaffna International Airport, Indian Consul General in Jaffna Hon. Rajes Nadraj and many other high officials of the airport participated and celebrated the service by cutting a cake.
It was also reported that more than 10,500 passengers have traveled since the start of Jaffna Chennai flight service till the 100th Alliance Air flight service to Jaffna.
It is said that this service will further strengthen relations between Indian people and Sri Lankan people and will not only encourage increased connectivity trade and investment, but will also help Sri Lanka’s economic recovery by stimulating tourist arrivals.
In the situation of the current flight service between the two countries is only 4 days in a week, it is requested for 7 days and also requested that Airbus A320 aircraft should be engaged into service instead of ARR 72 aircraft currently in service. Only 60 passengers can travel in ARR 72. On the other hand, if the Airbus A320 aircrafts is engaged in service, number of passengers can be increased to 150 to 180 passengers and the current 20 kg luggage per passenger will be increased to 40 kg.
At the same time, an ARR 72 aircraft currently in service requires 1500 meters of runway to land, If the airbus A320 aircraft is engaged in service a runway of 1800 to 1900 meters is a must.
There is no need to think about more land for 1900 meter runway at Palali airport. Because the Jaffna International Airport currently has 2000 meters of runway in hand and 400 meters of runway is not paved with stones and has not been prepared as a runway.
In spite of that, with the question of why India, which offered to take responsibility or provide assistance in the cost of repairing the route, did not complete the work. India should take constructive action to engage Airbus A320 aircraft in service instead of ARR 72 aircraft and one more fact was revealed while researching the obstacles to start the service.
It is pointed out that the crisis is seen in the establishment of passenger accommodation rather than the disruption or delay in the runway reconstruction work to increase the size of the aircraft involved in the flight service from Jaffna to Chennai to 150 passengers. This means that currently 55 people are traveling, so up to 110 people are staying at the airport at the same time. While there are enough facilities for this, it is pointed out as a crisis that office space facilities that can accommodate 350 people at a time should be established if 150 people are traveling.
It is known that Sri Lanka has not yet given the permissoin even though India is ready to provide funds for the construction of accommodation facilities for 350 people. The current expectation is that the Sri Lankan authorities and northern politicians should fix it and provide it.
Because, according to the air ticket sales agents, those traveling from Jaffna, not the Northern Province, to Chennai, while traveling from here, get a ticket to Jaffna to Chennai and they get return ticket of Chennai to Katunayaka, the main reason is the size of the luggage that are allowed to be brought.