Tag Archive | "Mattala Airport"


Mattala duty free shops closed

Posted on 07 June 2016 by admin



The troubled Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport at Mattala has received another blow with the complete closure of the duty free shops located within its premises since June 1. Airport sources said that shops have remained closed since 1 June and the owners have already removed the goods from their stores.

The air traffic to Mattala has now dwindled to a trickle and only two charter flights use the MRIA at present.

However, these two airlines have flights to MRIA, carrying tourists on an almost daily basis and the passengers have been inconvenienced duty to the lack of duty-free shopping opportunities.3.



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Mattala Airport To Be Grounded

Posted on 07 March 2015 by admin

Courtesy: Indika Sri Aravinda – Sunday Leader.

The government has decided to cancel all passenger flights to the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA).

Vice President of the Airport and Aviation Service (Sri Lanka) Limited Sanjeewa Wijeratne said that landing passenger planes at MRIA will be completely cancelled from April 1.

He further said that even though approximately Rs. 250 million has been spent on maintaining the airport, only two passengers have arrived at the airport last month.

Wijeratne pointed out that under these circumstances it is a burden on the country to spend such a huge amount of money on the airport.

He further said that around 450 staff work at the airport and some of them will be transferred to the Bandaranaike International Airport and Ratmalana airport.

Thereafter, he said, the Mattala International airport will be used only as an international aviation aircraft maintenance and cargo operations center. Wijeratne said that the decision to cancel passenger operations at the Mattala airport has already been notified to the relevant authorities.

“Repaying of the annual installments for the loan taken for the construction of the airport will take effect from September,” he said.

The airport is already closed at night and air-condition units and lights not used during the day are switched off.

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SriLankan Airlines has decided to cut MRIA operations

Posted on 16 January 2015 by admin

The new Government has decided to cut SriLankan Airlines flights to and from the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) in Mattala with effect from February 9.

A statement by SriLankan airlines said that on the direction of the State Minister of Aviation Faizer Mustapha, SriLankan Airlines, has re-deployed its capacity and adjusted its scheduled operations to focus on more commercially sustainable services.

While the airline has already achieved a significant improvement in its financial performance for the current financial year, it is of the view that these commercially driven initiatives will help the airline to further improve the financial performance in the near term while continuing to deliver affordable travel options to its customers.

SriLankan says on the instructions of the Minister, in the medium term, the airline is also critically reviewing its entire route network, again with a view to being more commercially and bottom-line focused.

The immediate schedule changes which will see the airline rationalising its scheduled operations to and via MRIA and enhancing capacity to other high demand Middle East destinations,while reducing capacity to underperforming routes such as Moscow.

This translates to an annual bottom line improvement of approximately USD 18 Mn. (Colombo Gazette)

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Sri Lanka offers tax-free zone at Mattala new airport

Posted on 01 April 2013 by admin

Sri Lanka is turning its newest international airport opening Monday into a tax-free zone to attract aviation-related industries, a top official said. Talks were under way to set up aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul operations at the $209 million airport located near wildlife sanctuaries in the island's southeast, airport chairman Prasanna Wickremasuriya told AFP.

The airport can accommodate Airbus A-380, the biggest passenger liner in service, and is part of ambitious plans to turn the district of Hambantota, the home constituency of President Mahinda Rajapakse, into the new commercial capital of Sri Lanka.

“We can be a regional hub for aircraft maintenance. Negotiations are on with a big European operator to set up a facility at Mattala,” Wickremasuriya said. “We have huge potential for cargo and tourist traffic as well.” The airport and its immediate surroundings, about 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres), are being designated a free zone for foreign and local investors to set up warehouses, maintenance hangars and other industries, Wickremasuriya said.

Work began in 2011 for the Mattala International airport (MIA), located within Hambantota district, but it is being re-named after the president as Mahinda Rajapakse International Airport (MRIA).

The first flight is to be operated by the national carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines. China's Export-Import Bank funded the airport which can handle a million passengers a year. China also funded the $1.5-billion sea port opened for commercial shipping in Hambantota last year.

The first foreign carrier to fly to MRIA will be Air Arabia which has announced twice weekly flights to Sharjah from Mattala, about 270 kilometres (168 miles) south of Colombo by road.

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BIA will not be closed to make way for Mattala Airport – Aviation Minister

Posted on 16 March 2013 by admin

Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne yesterday categorically denied allegations that the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) would be shut down to make way for the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, which would be declared open next Monday by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.   Addressing the media at the Civil Aviation Ministry, he said that there were no attempts to close the BIA, but it would be further expanded and its present capacity to handle six million passengers per year would be increased to 15 million by 2015. 

Last year the BIA handled 7.2 million passengers, up from 6.1 million in 2011. He said that Mattala International Airport would cater to one million passengers per year with the opening of the First Phase and with the completion of the Second Phase, by 2017, its capacity would increase to five million.

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Mattala Airport getting into shape, Access Engineering PLC completes Cargo & Fire Rescue Buildings

Posted on 09 March 2013 by admin

Access Engineering PLC, which says it is playing an important role in infrastructure development work carried out at the Mattala International Airport, has completed the construction of the Cargo and Fire Rescue Buildings, design and construction of the Airport Access Road, Supply and laying of external and internal water supply mains, construction of a Water Tower and the construction of an Aviation Fuel Hydrant System. The combined value of these projects amounts to over Rs 2 billion.

The company said this work was assigned to it by the main contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. It said along with China Harbour, Access Engineering was given the responsibility of designing and constructing the access road to the airport.

The 2.5 km, 4 lane road consists of a 2 m wide central median, 3.2 m wide carriageways and 1.1m wide walkways on either side. The road followed a completely new trace which stretches through marshy areas that frequently remains flooded during rainy seasons. The designers from Access Engineering took up the challenge to provide a robust and economical solution to overcome this issue, the company statement added. “Expertise of our support services was utilized extensively and we even forayed into mechanical installation work such as the long span roofing structure, in-house.

We acquired and developed the expertise and specialized knowledge that is required to excel in this fiercely competitive sector of building construction by gearing up to meet the challenges and the changes in the economic climate that would open up many opportunities in the future,” noted Nihal Jayathilaka, Senior Project Manager of Access Engineering.

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Sri Lanka’s second international airport will be up and running after March 18

Posted on 13 February 2013 by admin

The Minister of Civil Aviation, Piyankara Jayaratne told parliament that the Mattala International Airport in Hambantota will be declared open on March 18, the Government Information Department reported.

An open skies policy will be adopted by the government allowing international carriers to operate freely at the Mattala Rajapakse International Airport in Hambantota, Southern Province, Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said.

The 'Sunday Times’ reported that the open skies policy is where free market conditions are created for commercial aviation and provides access to international carriers to operate freely without restrictions.
“This is a move to attract more international traffic and the new policy will be announced next week,” he said adding, that this policy would not apply to the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake, Colombo.
The minister said that a free market environment for the airline industry would be created through the open skies policy.
Earlier, he said that the government had planned to have an open skies policy only for a limited period but now it had decided to extend it for an unlimited period.
A 50 per cent discount on ground handling charges for five years is among other concessions at Mattala, he said.
He added that after talks being held with various international airlines including Emirates, Qatar Airways, Ethihad, Air Arabia, Sichuan Airlines of China and the Korean Airlines, they had agreed to fly to Mattala while talks were continuing with other airlines.
Jayaratne said for the construction of a 400 room hotel, a 10-acre land has been allocated to Air Arabia while a local company also had been allocated land for a hotel project.
The first phase of the new 800-acre airport constructed by the China Harbour Engineering Company cost $209 million (Rs26.7 billion).
Meanwhile, official commissioning of the Mattala Rajapakse international Airport for domestic and international air transport services have been gazetted, Civil Aviation Director-General HMC Nimalasiri said.

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