Dec 26, 2020

Airport reopening postponed: Udayanga's tourists to arrive next week Featured

The re-opening of the Airport for commercial passenger flights has been postponed, taking into account the prevailing COVID-19 situation in a number of foreign states with the discovery of more contagious strains of the virus, officials said.

“Only approved special aircraft will be allowed to enter the country. Thereby, the previous procedure where Sri Lankans who wished to be repatriated should contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for approval, then obtain approval from the Civil Aviation Authority will continue,” Upul Dharmadasa, the Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority told today (Dec. 26).

Only 50 passengers will be allowed per flight.

“Cargo flights will operate as usual and the crew aboard cargo flights from the United Kingdom are required to undergo the 14-day mandatory quarantine,” Chairman of CAA – Upul Dharmadasa further noted.

According to Dharmadasa, the approval was initially granted for Charter Flights from Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan to arrive in the country.

However, it was announced on Friday (Dec. 25), the group of tourists from Russia that was scheduled to arrive as the first batch of tourists under the pilot project of tourism revival post-COVID-19 had abandoned the tour.

“The flight from Ukraine is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka as scheduled on the 28th of December adding it will land at the Mattala International Airport,” Dharmadasa said.

Udayanga's 200 Ukrainian tourists to arrive on Monday

Meanwhile, former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weerathunga  has told the Silumina newspaper that the first group of tourists to visit Sri Lanka after the country was closed for Covid-19 pandemic will arrive in Sri Lanka on Monday (28 Dec) from the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, and that group will include 200 tourists.

He said that the group will arrive at Mattala Airport on Monday at 2.14 pm on a SkyUp Airlines flight PQ 555.

They are to stay only at Bentota, Beruwala and Koggala seaside hotels and not mix with the local public, he said.

Second group arriving on 29th

Weeratunga says that the second group consisting of 215 tourists will arrive in Sri Lanka on December 29 on a Ukraine International flight.

He said that three one-day tours have been arranged for the tourists in Yala Safari, Pinnawala and Galle Fort areas and that all the trips will be carried out in a hygienic manner without mixing with the local people and once the tour is completed they locations will be open for locals after carrying out the disinfection process.

Udayanga Weeratunga has further told the newspaper that one tourist  is expected to spend between 100 and 150 USD a day, excluding hotel fees.