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* Sri Lanka’s Mattala International Airport commences cargo flights
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 10:10 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 09, Colombo: Officially commencing cargo operations at Sri Lanka’s Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), a cargo flight took off from MRIA in Hambanthota to the United States for the first time today.

Emirates, the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates and the one of the world’s leading airlines operated a flight to Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport on 9th August 2020.

The B777-300 flight arrived at MRIA at 1637 hrs. (local time) and the objective was to repatriate 404 Sri Lankan citizens stranded in Dubai, UAE as part of government’s repatriation program.

The flight departed at 1818 hrs. (local time) on the same day with 28 tons of cargo from Sri Lanka to the United States and the United Kingdom.

This is also considered the first ever charter flight launched by the Emirates Airlines to MRIA.

The Passenger arrival process was carried out smoothly in strict accordance to safety guidelines. All passengers were subsequently directed to quarantine centers under the guidance of the Sri Lanka Health Authorities, the airport authorities said.

Moving ahead with the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s vision: ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’, Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd. (AASL) is geared up to develop the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA). AASL has looked at MRIA progressively and initiated a medium and a long term program to promote MRIA.

Mattala International Airport has operated 70 flights in the last two months when restrictions were imposed on global air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has provided air travel facilities to more than 2500 people.


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