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SriLankan commences operations at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport

19-Mar-2013 10:15 AM

SriLankan Airlines announced (15-Mar-2013) the launch of service to Sri Lanka’s second international gateway, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), upon its opening on 18-Mar-2013. During the first phase, SriLankan Airlines will be operating two services to Riyadh, four to Male, two to Beijing and one to Shanghai via Bangkok, while there will be two Mihin Lanka services operating to Bodh Gaya. SriLankan Airlines chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe explained: “Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport opens up many prospects for SriLankan Airlines to widen its reach while contributing to the country’s development drive. SriLankan’s role in MRIA is sure to expand with the arrival of more airlines and the increase of passenger flow". The carrier will be the sole ground handler at the airport, providing full handing services including passenger services, baggage services and cargo handling for charters and privately owned aircraft. All the staff for MRIA were recruited from the Hambantota district and were given a six-months training at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). SriLankan will also post experienced staff from BIA for the initial operations for a period of one year. SriLankan Cargo will manage MRIA’s 5000sqm cargo facility, with the capacity of handling 60,000 metric tons. It is equipped with facilities to store live animals, dangerous goods, temperature regulated goods, customs and quarantine cargo, with special provisions for valuable cargo, weighing facility up to 15000kg, and screening machines. Meanwhile, all line maintenance requirements at MRIA for A300, A320, A330, A340 and Boeing 737 aircraft, including support for other operators’ aircraft will be provided by SriLankan Engineering. A subsidiary of SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering (SLC) will supply F&B to the transit restaurant, business class lounge and the Public Restaurant.  [more - original PR]