- Pilot project to run from 20 Dec. to 19 Jan.
- BIA, Mattala and Ratmalana Airports to waive fees
- Govt. evaluating capacity for PCR testing and quarantining of travellers
The Cabinet has approved a proposal for a pilot project by the Ministry of Tourism to waive the landing and parking fees for international airlines which agree to fly in passengers to Sri Lanka between 26 December and 19 January 2021, a top official said yesterday.
The pilot project, aimed at promoting tourism, will be carried out in accordance with health guidelines prepared by local authorities, Cabinet Co-Spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said. The temporary waiver of airport fees is aimed at encouraging the airline sector, which is facing a crisis, to fly passengers to Sri Lanka.
“Accordingly, international airlines will operate according to specific schedules prepared by the Ministry of Tourism and the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka,” Dr. Pathirana said.
The plan will see landing and parking fees waived for international carriers that fly to Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo Airport (Ratmalana) and the Mattala International Airport.
Dr. Pathirana said that once the airports were open, those who arrive would have to submit PCR test results prior to arrival and would be subjected to testing on arrival and allowed to travel locally only in a travel bubble. The Government is awaiting feedback from the airlines on the concessions offered and is not certain of the number of tourists expected as yet.
“I can say that most airlines that fly to Sri Lanka have expressed interest but we do not have an exact figure on the number of passengers who may arrive. By the fourth week of December, we should be able to have a better understanding of the numbers expected,” Dr. Pathirana said, adding that the Government was closely following the COVID-19 related developments in the United Kingdom.
Responding to a question Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Government was studying the number of tourists Sri Lanka could accommodate presently, taking into consideration COVID-19 testing, treatment and quarantine capacity.
Source From srilankatravel
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