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* Sri Lanka to buy aircraft from China
Wed, Mar 3, 2010, 11:18 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka is to buy six Xian MA-60 turboprop-powered aircraft from China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC), an aviation website reported today.

FlightGlobal, an aviation website said that Sri Lanka is buying the six aircraft with the help of a Chinese government preferred loan scheme.

Two of the six MA60 advanced turboprop aircraft with 56-seat configuration will be arriving in Sri Lanka this year while the remainder will be delivered in 2011.

According to Sri Lanka's Ports and Aviation Ministry which has confirmed the deal, four of the six MA60 passenger aircraft are for the use of Air Force and the other two may be for the budget carrier Mihin Lanka.

The MA60 aircraft which can hold 52 60 passengers is suitable for short-haul passenger transport as well as multi-role operations such as VIP/executive transport, cargo transport, maritime patrol, etc.

The Sri Lankan Air Force currently uses Antonov AN-32s, Lockheed Martin C-130Ks and Chinese-built Harbin Y12s for its transport activities.

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