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Published on Thursday, July 11, 2019

Sri Lanka cuts airline fees in bid to speed up recovery



Sri Lanka's government has announced another new initiative aimed at speeding up tourism recovery following the Easter bombings which killed more than 250 people.


Arrival numbers have begun to slowly rebound after a major downturn in the aftermath, and the government wants to encourage more airlift by reducing ground handling charges for airlines.


It will also significantly cut aviation fuel prices and embarkation fees.





Johanne Jayaratne, tourism development agency chief said the cuts will last for six months.


Dimuthu Tennakoon, chairman of the Board of Airline Representatives hopes it will lead to a capacity increase as well as a reduction in fares.


"That will definitely happen with this reduction because fuel and ground handling contribute a significant percentage of the total cost element of any airline," he said.


Some airlines have reinstated their full schedules since the bombings but other airlines are still being cautious.


Tourist arrivals were down 57% in June.


A total of 41 weekly fights were scrapped after the bombings amounting to a drop of 8000 passenger seats.

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