Sri Lanka now says travel bubble with India not suspended

Sri Lanka now says a travel bubble with India has not been suspended and that only a flight scheduled to Kushinagar on 26 April was cancelled.

On Tuesday (20), Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga told Colombo Gazette that Sri Lanka has temporarily put on hold a travel bubble with India.

He said the travel bubble has been put on hold as the coronavirus has begun to spread rapidly in India.

However, issuing a statement today, the Minister said the travel bubble has not been suspended and that it is being implemented with an aim to enhance tourism between the two countries.

He said that following the declaration of the Kushinagar airport in Uttar Pradesh as an international airport, a flight had been scheduled from Sri Lanka on the 26th of April.

The Sri Lankan flight was scheduled to be the first international aircraft to land at the Kushinagar airport, based on an invitation extended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This was done so to further enhance bilateral ties between India and Sri Lanka, he pointed out.

Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said, however, taking into consideration the spike in Covid cases in India at present, a decision was taken to postpone the flight.

He further said the travel bubble with India was introduced to increase tourism activities between the two countries.

Another aim of the bubble was to recommence flight operations between India and Sri Lanka, the Minister said.

Minister Ranatunga said therefore the travel bubble with India will be implemented. (Colombo Gazette)