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Airfares from Sri Lanka reduce after 4 years

For the first time after more than four year airfares out from Sri Lanka have notably reduced. The Chennai fare that was more than Rs. 80,000 has come down to around Rs. 48,000, UAE fares which were over Rs. 100,000 has reduced to less than Rs.98,000 while fares to other destinations too have reduced.

The main reason for this is the rupee appreciating against the US dollar and some global sentiments, said Vice Chairman, Board of Airline Representatives (BAR) Sri Lanka Sudesh Rupasinghe.

He said that the overall airfare has come down by more than 20% and this trend will continue until the peak season starts toward the end of the year. He also said that they were pleased to see the manner in which the Colombo airport is being developed to meet future demands.

“We saw the E Embarkation card and now we see E gates along with plans to increase capacity, new connection roads, and several other positive developments coming up. The partnership and cooperation between the airlines and the government in Sri Lanka play a vital role in the success of the aviation industry. By working together, both parties can address challenges, implement improvements, and drive growth in air travel and tourism. The BAR values this collaboration and is committed to contributing to the continued advancement of Sri Lanka’s aviation sector.”

Airline contribution to tourism in Sri Lanka is significant as it plays a crucial role in facilitating international travel to the country. The airline industry contributes to the growth of tourism in Sri Lanka by making the destination easily accessible to travelers.

Moreover, airlines play a crucial role in boosting the local economy by generating employment opportunities in the aviation sector as well as in the tourism industry. They also contribute to the country’s GDP through various direct and indirect means, including ticket sales, airport taxes and tourism-related services. Overall, the airline industry’s contribution to tourism in Sri Lanka is vital for the growth and development of the country’s tourism sector. However, he noted that the recent visa fee increase cannot be justified.

“To have such a large number of tourists to Singapore is their free visa policy which is a major attraction. Any person who has a passport can just walk into Singapore within hours without a visa.”

Free visa helped Singapore to double their arrival numbers in 2023 to reach 13.6 million whereas Sri Lanka which is a larger country only attracted less than 1.5 million arrivals. “Also the new visa fees make Sri Lanka more expensive than its competitor nations like Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and one must remember that Maldives also doesn’t levy any visa fee.”

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