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Maldivian rethinks flight to Ratmalana Colombo


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 6 April 2022: Just hours after inaugurating a new service from Male to Ratmalana airport in Colombo Sri Lanka the Maldives national airline Maldivian suspended the service.

First reported by Ceylon Today, the online news channel said Maldivian’s “maiden international flight to Colombo International Airport – Ratmalana (CIAR) took place Sunday 27 March. Just 96 hours later the airline suspended the route to allow for a serious rethink.

According to Ceylon Today, it incurred a loss of around SLR6 million spent on the ceremony for the maiden flight. At the same time, it failed to ferry enough paying passengers to justify any follow-up flights.

However, VIPs appreciated the celebratory water cannon salute from the airport authority, while passengers enjoyed the gift packs from the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Kandyan dance performance.

It is understood that the national carrier Maldivian which operates international flights to various Asian cities from its hub at Velana Airport, is rethinking the Ratmalana endeavour saying the route might not be as marketable as it had hoped.

Maldivian flew the route to Sri Lanka using a Dash-8 aircraft with 50 seats, and according to the Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, it planned three weekly flights increasing to five flights from May 2022 onwards. That might now be up for review.

Ratmalana International Airport is primarily a domestic airport serving the city of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. It was the country’s first international airport and was the only international airport in Sri Lanka until the inauguration of Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake in 1967.

(Source: Ceylon Today)

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