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Nepal-Lanka air links set to resume by Feb2014-12-19 14:58:47

Direct air links between Nepal and Sri Lanka are set resume after a break of two and a half decades with Colombo-based carrier Mihin Lanka planning to start services by February, Tourism Ministry officials said.
The low-cost airline, which is owned by the Sri Lankan government, has officially applied for operating authorization to conduct daily flights between Kathmandu and Colombo. 

“We have received a diplomate note from the Sri Lankan government seeking operating authorization and are waiting for the carrier’s complete documents,” said Suresh Acharya, joint secretary at the ministry.
 During the 1980s, Nepal Airlines Corporation in its previous avatar used to operate direct flights to Colombo. It was forced to suspend operations following the LTTE armed movement in Sri Lanka. Since then, there have been no direct air links between the two nations. 

Nepal and Sri Lanka had been discussing flights connectivity since the end of the LTTF armed movement in Sri Lanka. The two nations signed an Air Service Agreement on January 23, 2009. 

“The initiative to operate flights is also part of the leaders’ commitment to link all the SAARC capitals with direct flights,” said Acharya. He also added that direct air links would boost Nepal’s tourism as vasitors frpm Sri lanka are epected to grow in the coming years. 


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