SriLankan increases Maldives flights as Sri Lanka’s main airport resumes operations

SriLankan Airlines has increased flight frequency to Maldives as Sri Lanka’s main airport resumed normal operations on Thursday after a major renovation project.

Bandaranaike International Airport’s (BIA) main runway was closed for renovations on January 6 and the airport was only open for business every night for eight hours (from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm). The USD50 million project widened the runway from 65 metres to 75 metres and fitted in a LED lighting system enabling the airport to operate even under severe weather conditions.

With its main hub back in full operation, Sri Lanka’s flagship carrier SriLankan Airlines announced on Thursday it would resume normal operations throughout its global route network from Friday.

“SriLankan wishes to express its gratitude to all its stakeholders for their patience and assistance during this period, especially its valued customers, all of the airline’s staff who worked tirelessly to limit the inconvenience to passengers, and its partner organisations at BIA. With effect from tomorrow, passengers may arrive at the airport three hours before scheduled departure time of their flights,” a statement issued by the airline read.

Ace Aviation, SriLankan Airlines’ General Sales Agent in Maldives, said the airline would begin operating a total of four daily flights to the Maldives from Friday.

“The extra two flights will cut air fares significantly. We will also announce special fares soon,” the company’s Director Abdulla Giyas said.

During the resurfacing of BIA’s main runway, SriLankan Airlines scaled down its international operations, including flights to the Maldives. The airline, which is particularly popular amongst tourists who travel to the Maldives from Europe, operated two flights a day to Male, leading to unavailability and pushing fares to all-time high rates.

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