SriLankan Airlines which ditched Mattala airport on grounds that landing there and taking off was a huge uncalled expense was once again looking at the Hambantota airport.
This is because of the Colombo international airport runway closure during day time for repairs from next month.
The airline has been able to re schedule most of their international flights in other destinations and is flying at night and until before 8 a.m. However the airline has not being able to successfully negotiate with two Chinese destinations that the airline was flying to. The Chinese airports have not offered alternative timings slots for SriLankan to land.
This has resulted in SriLankan airlines forced to take off in the morning and land at Mattala and be grounded there for five hours before taking off to the Chinese destinations again incurring a heavy expense to the airline.
The Airport Authority of Sri Lanka (ASSL) has confirmed that the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport will be closed for 8 hours from 8 am to 4.30 pm effective January 6 to April 6, 2017.
SriLankan Airlines said that it would incur a revenue loss of US$ 47 million US dollars from the closure of the Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport in 2017 for maintenance work on the runway.
Over 200 flights will be cancelled over the three-month period as a result of the maintenance work to be carried out at the airport.