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Alliance Air commences daily flights between Chennai & Jaffna

Alliance Air, which initially aimed for four flights per week starting from December 15, 2022, decided to upgrade the frequency
Last Updated : 17 July 2023, 06:28 IST

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Daily commercial flights between Chennai and Sri Lanka's Jaffna city have commenced with India's Alliance Air increasing the frequency from the earlier four-times-a-week service, a move that is set to further boost travel and trade between the two countries.

The move to increase the frequency of flights between Chennai and the Tamil-dominated Jaffna city was announced earlier this month by Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia during the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) annual convention hosted in Colombo.

The daily commercial flights between Chennai and the Jaffna International Airport (JIA) in the north began operations on Sunday, aviation officials said.

Chief Airport Manager, Aruna Rajapaksa, confirmed the inaugural flight's arrival in Jaffna at 11:30 am, marking the initiation of daily flights along this route, the NewsFirst news portal reported on Sunday.

"Alliance Air is set to commence daily scheduled operations between Jaffna and Chennai, starting from 16th July 2023. Initially operating with their ATR72 aircraft, which can comfortably carry 70 passengers", a press release by Sri Lanka's Airport and Aviation Services said.

Alliance Air, which initially aimed for four flights per week starting from December 15, 2022, decided to upgrade the frequency of its operations to a daily flight service due to the growing demand for flights to the JIA.

It added that that the flights are designed to ensure timely and convenient travel options for passengers, with arrivals at 11:30 am and departures to Chennai at 12:30 pm.

"Go South Go Chennai. An exciting trip awaits you in Chennai. Fly direct to Chennai from Jaffna, Mysore and Hyderabad," the Indian government-owned carrier tweeted on Sunday.

The JIA, developed with Indian assistance, now offers a growing number of scheduled flights catering to domestic and international travellers.

In December 2022, India and Sri Lanka resumed flight services between Chennai and Jaffna, three years after the island nation discontinued the services due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airport in Palaly was named the Jaffna International Airport as Sri Lanka's third international airport in October 2019 and had its first flight from Chennai.

Tourism is the primary source of foreign exchange earnings for cash-strapped Sri Lanka. However, the onset of the pandemic in 2020 severely crippled the tourism sector and was one of the significant reasons for Sri Lanka's economic travails.

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Published 17 July 2023, 06:28 IST

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