SL to resume passenger flights between Jaffna, Chennai

Sri Lanka intends to resume passenger flight operations between the Jaffna International airport and Chennai, India within the next few months, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said in a statement.

He said the flight operations connecting the Maldives with South Indian destinations via Sri Lanka would be launched. According to the Minister, several airlines have already initiated talks with the Sri Lankan authorities in this regard.

The Jaffna airport is expected to be developed in three stages. The terminal will be developed to handle 1000 passengers. The runway will also be expanded further to handle even wide-body aircraft.

The Jaffna airport which was formally called the Palali airport had been used by the Royal Air Force during World War II. After independence, it was used for flight connectivity with Indian destinations. After the advent of the civil war in the 1980s, such operations stopped. Since then, the airport has been used by the Sri Lanka Air Force for supplies.

During the time of the previous government, the international flight operations commenced. However, it could not continue due to the pandemic.