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* SriLankan to shift maintenance and training activities to Mattala
Sat, May 10, 2014, 09:14 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 10, Colombo: Sri Lanka's national carrier, SriLankan Airlines is planning to shift its maintenance and training activities to the second international airport at Mattala, CEO of the airline Kapila Chandrasena has said.

Speaking to media personnel in Colombo, Chandrasena has said that the he is planning to shift some of Colombo's connecting leisure traffic to Mattala to improve the passenger experience and reduce congestion at the Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).

Despite the opening of the second international airport at Mattala in March 2013, bulk of air traffic to the island arrives at the Bandaranaike International Airport.

Only a few Middle East airlines - Fly Dubai and Rotana Jet, the national carrier and its low-cost subsidiary Mihin Lanka, and domestic carriers that connect the airport with Ratmalana Airport and BIA, serve the Mattala airport. Air Arabia which served the airport when it opened has suspended the service since May 2013.

The SriLankan CEO spoke of plans to move the airline's growing maintenance business to the new airport, regardless of whether it is successful in finding a joint-venture partner for its MRO activities.

He said the airline plans to establish a training academy in Mattala and once the infrastructure is completed around the middle of 2015, the training activities will also be transferred to the Mattala airport.

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