India shows Sri Lanka love in the air

ECONOMYNEXT – Air India will resume a third additional daily flight on the Delhi-Colombo route from July 15 to stand in solidarity with a terror-struck Sri Lanka, an Indian minister has said.

"Honouring the spirit of friendship & mutual cooperation between India & Sri Lanka, & to express solidarity with the people of the island nation, I am delighted to announce the resumption of additional Air India flight between New Delhi & Colombo from 15th July 2019," Indian Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a twitter.com message.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Sri Lanka on Sunday and made an unscheduled stop at the St Anthony’s Church, one of the bombed locations.

The Indian national carrier had stopped operating the third additional daily flight in early May due to low demand, after the Easter Sunday attacks which killed 258 persons including 11 Indian nationals, an airline official in Colombo said.

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka in May fell 70 percent from a year earlier as 37 countries imposed travel bans on Sri Lanka.

India was one of the first countries to revise its travel ban on Sri Lanka in late-May.

Sri Lanka’s largest tourism market is India, accounting for 18.2 percent of the island’s 2.3 million tourist arrivals in 2018.

However, Air India brings less traffic, bringing just 2.7 percent tourists to Sri Lanka in 2017. (Colombo, 11 June, 2019)