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Jothisha Sri Lanka
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After Sri Lankan Airlines announced that it was stopping flights to Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, only two foreign carriers, flydubai and Abu Dhabi-based Rotana Jet, now continue fly to the destination, the National news agency based in the UAE said in a report. 

Mattala south was planned as a major economic driver and point of entry for tourists.

There was even talk about the airport attracting leading airlines from all over the world. But two years after it opened, things have not taken off as planned for the country’s second international airport. Following the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa – whom the airport is named after – in the presidential elections last month, Sri Lankan Airlines announced that it was stopping flights to the destination.

The state-owned airline, which is struggling under debt, said that the flights were uneconomical.

Only two foreign carriers, flydubai and Abu Dhabi-based Rotana Jet, now fly to the airport, near the town of Hambantota.

Air Arabia, based in Sharjah, was the first international airline to fly to Mattala airport in 2013, only to suspend flights a few weeks later, with local reports citing low numbers of passengers as the reason.

A source familiar with the situation explained that airlines flying to Mattala airport were likely doing so only because it would have been a requirement imposed by authorities in exchange for granting flying rights into Sri Lanka. Far more development was needed around the airport before it would really be worth airlines flying to the destination, the source added.
An IT park, an international convention centre and a number of hotels, including a Shangri-La resort, are among plans for the Hambantota area. The Shangri-La hotel is expected to open in the fourth quarter of this year, according to the company’s website.

Other problems have beset the airport.