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Wednesday February 1st, 2023

Sri Lanka plans MRO, transit hotel at Mattala airport

CREW HUB: A B787-900 belonging to Italy based Neos Air at Mattala Airport on February 19, discharging 333 seafarers.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka plans to set up an aircraft and maintenance and repair overhaul (MRO) unit, a transit hotel, expand duty-free services at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport as it draws more traffic, an official said.

“The airport at Mattala will be establishing an MRO facility with foreign investments to capture the regional business markets for aircraft, engine repairs and checks,” Shehan Sumanasekara, Chief Director-Operations, Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) told EconomyNext.

SriLankan Airlines already has an MRO at the main Bandaranaike Airport which does C-checks and other services for the number of airlines.

Mattala has more space to do the business in a larger scale, he said.

Over the past year, Mattala Airport has developed a business in crew changes and aircraft layovers.

“W e intend to establish a transit hotel by 2022 in the airport premises which will give an immediate solution to many tourist and crew who are either transiting with long connecting times or passengers or crew with layovers in Sri Lanka,” he said.

Mattala Airport will also expand its duty-free offering beyond the core beverages, confectionary and perfume categories and add Sri Lankan products.

The airport will to expands its café and restaurant operations, which could cater to not only air passengers but also other travellers who are passing by.

Using the airport the authorities want to boost travel to nearby tourist destinations.

“We intend to attract many travellers to Kataragama and Yala who will have easy access to the airport making it a destination for families to enjoy a meal at the airport which many airports around the world has successfully executed,” he said.

Sumanasekera said last year that the AASL intended to collaborate with tour operators and international airlines to promote Mattala as a ‘gateway to exotic destinations.’

Mattala is now being used by several regular charters bringing post-Covid-19 tourists from January. A crew change business involving air and seamen was also developed during Coronavirus restrictions.

SriLankan, Qatar, Etihad, Emirates, IndiGo Airlines, Maldives Air, Ukraine International, SkyUp Airlines, Turkish Airlines, China Eastern, Oman Airlines, Singapore, Kuwait Airways and Salam Airways, AirAstana and SCAT Airlines from Kazakhstan operate regular charters or fly to the airport from time to time.

Since the opening of Sri Lanka’s airports in January 21st to February 25, 2021, Mattala has had 68 aircraft movements, 6,317 passengers, and 2,225 tourist arrivals.

Overall, from December 2020 to March 09, 2021, MRIA has had 4635 tourists arrivals.

The Bandaranaike International Airport has had 1,178 aircraft movements, 35,387 passenger movements and 978 tourist arrivals. (Colombo/Mar10/2021-UPDATE I)

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  1. Leel says:

    This airport will never generate its operating and maintenance cost.

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  1. Leel says:

    This airport will never generate its operating and maintenance cost.

Sri Lanka bond yields down at close

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s bond yields were down at close following a bond auction on Wednesday, dealers said while a guidance peg for interbank transactions remained unchanged.

“The rates were steady at the auction,” a dealer said.

“This can be a signal to the market saying the rates will go down in the future.”

A bond maturing on 01.07.2025 closed at 32.40/60 percent, down from yesterday’s 32.60/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2027 closed at 29.10/35 marginally down from yesterday’s 29.20/75 percent.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank US dollar transactions remained unchanged at 362.14 rupees against the US dollar.

Commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers at 371.38 rupees on Friday, data showed. (Colombo/Feb 01/2022)

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Sri Lanka bill auction hits pothole after 2025 bond spike

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka sold only 45 billion rupees in Treasury bills at Wednesday’s auction after offering 120 billion rupees, data from the state debt office showed, amid market confusion over a spike in a two year bond at an earlier action.

30.1 billion rupees of 3-month bills were sold at 29.91 percent, unchanged from a week earlier after offering 60 billion rupees for auction.

5.1 billion rupees of 6-month bills were sold at 28.72 percent, flat after offering 30 billion.

10.3 billion rupees of 12-month bills were sold at 27.72 percent after offering 30 billion.

Phase II subscriptions have been opened.

The market was foxed after the 2025 bonds were accepted at sharply higher yield than market on January 30, dealer said.

There was further confusion as the there was an outright purchase of 2025 at around 29 percent earlier in January.

Some investors speculated that the authorities were trying to drive more buyers towards short end bonds as bill volumes were getting larger. (Colombo/Feb01/2023)

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Sri Lanka services exports down 5.9-pct in 2022

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s services exports were estimated to have fallen 5.9 percent to 1,876.3 million US dollars, the island’s Export Development Board said.

Services exports estimated is made up of ICT/BPM, construction, financial services, transport and logistics.

There are more than 500 ICT companies, the EDB said.

Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports were up 4.6 percent to US dollars 13.1 billion dollars in 2022 from 2021.

Sri Lanka’s goods exports are slowing amid lower growth in Western markets. (Colombo/ Feb 01/2023)

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