Direct Flight From Down Under to Sri Lanka
Posted on July 18th, 2014

Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM FRCP/FRACP Wellington New Zealand

Dear Editor
Traveling to Europe and back from Auckland New Zealand via Dubai on an Emirates A380 flight  ( the biggest passenger  plane with over 400 passengers) I am struck by the opportunities this flight & it’s flight path offers for Mattala international airport. Hence this letter hoping to invoke enthusiasm of the powers that be , to make these idea’s a reality.
Every evening , three of these A380 planes leaves Auckland  New Zealand  en rout to Dubia via Australia, a plane each via Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbain respectively.Each of these planes flies directly over over Mattala and the pilot often points out Mattala on the flight path map,  as the new international airport in Sri Lanka, that has a runway on which an A380 can land. ( It cannot land in BIA as it is not long enough)
If at least one of these planes can be encouraged & coaxed into stopping at Mattala it would be win win for all.
For Mattala, it would be Air Traffic that it dearly seeks. For travelers and Sri Lankan expatriates from down under, it would offer a direct flight to SL, without having to languish in Singapore, Kuala Lampur or Hong Kong.For the tourist form down under , it would be a boon as they have the same problem as expatriates, seeking out Sri Lanka. This would also encourage Sri Lankan Airline connections to Colombo. If properly marketed it could increase traffic and revenue for Emirates.
Emirates however  would  need some encouragement to try this out . I have already spoken to many including the High Commission in Canberra and the Foreign Minister , during his recent travels down under, on this matter. This letter is  aimed at drawing the attention of those at home  with success of the Mahinda Rajapakse International Airport closest to their heart, to give the idea a push. 
Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM
FRCP/FRACP
Wellington New Zealand.

7 Responses to “Direct Flight From Down Under to Sri Lanka”

  1. Sarath W Says:

    As a regular traveller to Sri Lanka, I can not think of a better way to get there. Now that it is only a hour’s drive to Colombo it will encourage more tourist to visit Sri Lanka more often. This will also encourage more hotels and resorts in Hambantota and much needed employment opportunities for the people in the district.

  2. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Sri Lanka’s aviation connections with Australia date back to the early 1950s when its national carrier, then Air Ceylon flew to Sydney and Darwin. The main reasons airlines stop doing flights is because a) it was not economical, not enough passengers wanted the service, so they fly indirectly or b) they have involved in a code-share with another airline so there is no need for to use an aircraft on that route when they can sell tickets on another airline.
    Sri Lanka’s national carrier, SriLankan Airlines is taking its first steps in advancing to realize a long standing need and ambition in the process of operatingdirect flights to Australia – the world’s largest island. Considering Australia’s major potential in the air travel business, SriLankan Airlines has made its initial in-road by opening its airline office in Melbourne last year.

  3. aloy Says:

    Isn’t this a day dream Dr. Chula?. Even locals do not use that airport, possibly sue to danger posed by the migratory birds being sucked up by the engines.

  4. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Regarding airline flights and a way to go to Sri Lanka i must address the railway system and the modern technology that is changing this system. China has embarked on a massive investment to link Europe and Asia with transcontinental trains. I am sure China will be using the latest technology to such long distant transportation of her good and possibly of passengers.

    The couple to Europe one ends in Venice. If so railway lines should not be ruled out as a technology of the past. They are far safer than airlines, carry more passengers and do it with less use of fuel per passenger than a plane. There ar of course limitations to such connections to Sri Lanka but after looking at the pan European railway system which is highly efficient, luxurious to travel and cheap a connection to Sri Lanka via India through Jaffna would bring more tourists since it would be cheaper and safer to do so. At least that is my opinion.

    Regarding the massive investment in highways in Sri Lanka it did dawn on me that most Sri Lankans will not be buying any cars for quite a while. But an equally massive investment to link every part of Sri Lanka with a rail way system would facilitate a cheaper, energy efficient and environmentally friendly way of mass transportation. It would also be conducive to the military.

  5. Marco Says:

    Clearly Dr Chula was day dreaming and/or not done the adequate research.
    Emirates with their experience in Sri Lanka will be the last to fly to MRIA (never mind the A380)
    MRIA should be closed after 12.30 pm every day to save on operational cost. I hasten to think of the astronomical cost to us the tax payers for such a venture. Be that as it may, its sunk cost.
    There are no more than 5 flights to MRIA (4 of which are local). On most days they land and take off in the morninig and after 12pm the Airport is left idle. I cant see why MRIA is shut down after 12 pm.
    Furthermore, the aviation authorities including the powers in the Govt have not been giving accurate figures of passengers embarking or disembarking at MRIA.
    Furthermore, most if not all Tour Operators have given a wide berth to and not booked on Sri Lankan if they route the flight via MRIA. It does make sense as most of the package holiday makers are on time constraints and would avoid an unnecessary and pointless stop.

  6. aloy Says:

    I was thinking about this again.
    Now that a vast some of money has been spent, may be GOSL can make this airport viable at the expense of the bird sanctuary. If they can stop birds coming for a few years they will stop coming again. I remember seeing a documentary produced by BBC where they showed migratory fish that live in the sea traveling thousands of miles coming to the very spot in the stream (in the land) where they were born. Perhaps the birds also do the same and the path they take may be registered in the brain. When there are no birds with the memory they will stop coming. Perhaps some Sri lankan bird watchers should be able to enlighten government. In fact there are some world renown wildlife expert in SL. About a month ago I was fortunate to watch a very interesting documentary presented by a leopard expert at the Rotary Club in Colombo. He happened to be the nephew of late JRJ.
    If GOSL can do this the MRIA will become a very valuable thing to SL.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Aloy,

    NO. That will add more costs to the environment.

    There are other problems with MRIA. LACK of infrastructure comparable to Colombo is one.

    We have to maintain MRIA as a SECOND airport. We NEED a second international airport.

    Emirates, etc. want their passengers to go to their home ports. People travelling to Dubai, Europe, etc. will not want to land in SL at all.

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