With handsome passenger flow, Mihin Lanka – the domestic airliner of Sri Lanka, will increase its services between Madurai and Colombo from thrice in a week to four days from June 1 onwards. In a communication from Translanka – the general sales agent of Mihin Lanka – the airline will start a new flight on Thursdays from June 1.
The new service will depart from Colombo at 12.30 pm to reach Madurai by 1.30 pm and the flight will depart from Madurai by 2.30 pm to arrive in Colombo by 3.30 pm. The flight number MJ305/306 will be an A320 type aircraft with 180-seat capacity.
Initially, it was speculated that the airline will add two more services in a week. After the airlines started operating its flights from December last year, the patronage for the flight is good. Subahar Prem Ananth, assistant manager (sales) of Translanka, said that the airline at present operates three days in a week – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The response among the passengers is very good; hence, the additional service on Thursdays.
B S G Musthafa, president of Travel Club in Madurai, said it was a positive sign from the airlines, the only international connectivity Madurai airport has at present. “The bookings show very good patronage for Mihin Lanka, especially passengers travelling beyond Colombo find the flight very convenient,” he said.
Recently, the public forums and trade and industrial associations staged a protest demanding more international flights from Madurai airport. They registered their protest against the aviation ministry for not including the airport in aviation bilateral treaties, thus preventing foreign airliners operating their flights to Madurai. “There is better scope for the Madurai airport with passengers trying to reach Middle-East and countries like Singapore and Malaysia. Though the airliners in those countries are willing to operate flights to Madurai, Madurai’s exclusion in treaties is an impediment,” lamented S Rethinavelu, senior president of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Mihin Lanka operating one more service is a sign of passenger patronage for the international destination and we appeal to our MPs to raise this issue of bilateral treaties with the ministry,” he said. (Times of India)