Air Arabia, the only international carrier that flew to Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), is believed to have either cancelled or temporarily suspended its flights to the newly built second international airport in southern Sri Lanka.
The website of the Sharjah based airline no longer provides reservation facilities to or from MRIA and the airline’s destination map only contains Colombo as its sole Sri Lankan destination.
When contacted by Media, Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Dr. Ravindra Ruberu, cited low levels of passenger traffic as the primary reason behind disruptions to the flight schedule.
“Reports that Air Arabia has completely stopped flights are false. We have signed agreements with them that state that they will fly to Mattala however the frequency of flights is for them to decide based on the levels of passenger traffic”
A website called airlineroute.net reported that Air Arabia has cancelled its flights to MRIA from May. When queried, Nawaloka Aviation Pvt Ltd General Manger, Ramly Vilcassim, General Sales Agent (GSA) for Air Arabia in Sri Lanka, told media that Air Arabia is operating at MRIA without any disruptions.
But he declined to comment on the frequency of flights. CEO of Mattala Airport, Derick Karunaratne was unavailable for comment
When questioned about frequency of flights and passenger arrivals into Mattala, several officials from government owned service provider, Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited declined to comment.