India and Sri Lanka on Monday resumed flight services between Chennai and Jaffna, three years after the island nation discontinued the services due to the Covid pandemic.
The first flight on resumption of services landed this morning at the Jaffna International Airport, Upul Dharmadasa the Chairman of the Airport and Aviation Services told reporters.
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Jaffna airport officials said the Alliance Air service landed at Jaffna at 11:25 am local time. A small ceremony was conducted to welcome the flight which had 14 selected passengers, mostly officials, on board.
The return to Chennai was scheduled for 2.50 pm local time. The Alliance Air flights would operate four times a week between the two cities. The airport in Palaly was named the Jaffna international airport as Sri Lanka’s third international airport in October 2019 and had its first flight from Chennai. The 2019 redevelopment of the airport was funded by both Sri Lanka and India.
The tourism sector is the main source of foreign exchange earnings for cash-strapped Sri Lanka. However, the onset of the pandemic in 2020 severely crippled the tourism sector and was one of the major reasons for Sri Lanka’s economic travails. The resumption of flights is expected to help the cash-strapped country’s tourism sector and provide a fillip to its beleaguered economy.
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