Monday, July 30, 2018

The World's Loneliest Airport Has India, Sri Lanka In a Tough Spot

New Delhi: Sri Lanka and India seem to be on the opposite sides of the table on a crucial issue of bilateral ties.
Earlier this month, Sri Lankan civil aviation minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had told the Parliament that the government had asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to submit its business plan to operate the loss-making Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport.
However, India’s minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha on Sunday told Parliament that there was no proposal under consideration for the AAI to buy a controlling stake in the airport. Sinha also clarified that there were no plans for the AAI to build a flying school and a maintenance, repair and overhaul unit at the airport.
The airport, dubbed the world’s loneliest, was built with high-interest commercial loans from China. The AAI is reported to have a 70 per cent stake, while Sri Lanka’s CAA will invest 30 per cent. The airport was officially inaugurated in March 2013 but the lone flight operating from there was also stopped in May this year due to losses.
30/07/18 Aishwarya Kumar/News18