Air India delays Colombo flights

MUMBAI, 24 May 2019: Air India has postponed the launch of flights from Mumbai to Colombo the capital of Sri Lanka until 1 July.

India’s national airline earlier confirmed the new service would start 1 May, but due to the ongoing security crisis following the Easter Sunday bombings the airline delayed the launch.

If the security situation in Colombo improves the airline will schedule five weekly services using an Airbus 321 effective 1 July.

 Travel advisors from various countries including the UK the US and Australia warn against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka.

Air India’s advance timetable information reported by Airlineroute earlier this week shows flights will depart Mumbai at 2300 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Meanwhile, a month after the devastating Easter Sunday terrorist bombings that claimed 258 lives including 46 foreigners the organisers of the prestigious Conference of Parties (COP18) of CITES have still not confirmed new dates for the event that was supposed to have been hosted, 23 May to 1 June in Sri Lanka’s capital.

 The Geneva-based secretariat appears to favour hosting the event in Geneva this August or postponing it for the first time in its 18 years history to January 2020.

According to a report in Mongabay, an online publication for the environment, a UN security assessment is currently underway in Sri Lanka, with the findings expected to be submitted to the CITES Secretariat next week. A decision on the event, vital to ensure funding for wildlife conservation projects continues without interruption, should be made in early June.