ECONOMYNEXT- Tourist arrivals via charter flights to Sri Lanka ran into headwinds in 2018, falling 14.5 percent from a year earlier to 43,946 holidaymakers, a report said.
Charter flights made up 1.9 percent of tourist arrivals in 2018, down from 2.4 percent a year earlier.
Thomson Airways (TUI), the Europe based carrier which is the world’s largest charter operator, remained at the lead, hauling 8,244 tourists to Sri Lanka in 2018, down from 10,532 a year earlier.
Arrivals from ‘special aircraft’ such as business jets fell to 1,950 from 9,928 a year earlier.
Meridiana (renamed Air Italy in mid-2018) did not operate to Sri Lanka in 2018, after bringing 2,494 tourists in 2017.
Iran-based Mahan Air hauled 136 tourists, down from 2,625 a year earlier.
Meanwhile, a rise in tourist traffic was seen from Russian charter operators. Azur Air brought in 6,746 tourists, up 21.4 percent and Royal Flight hauled in 2,510 tourists from none a year earlier.
Charter flight arrivals had boomed to a record-breaking 51,379 in 2017 from 13,144 in 2016. (Colombo/Dec06/2019)