Following the official opening a Bombardier ATR 72-600 aircraft of India’s Alliance Air, landed on the newly constructed 950 meters runway making it the first foreign flight to land in the north after the launch. A press release from the Indian High Commission said that Alliance Air is a subsidiary of Air India and that the flight to Jaffna from Chennai was the airline’s first international foray.
Touching the Sky
Indian High Commissioner, Taranjit Singh Sandhu said in his address, that bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka have now truly touched the sky!
The inaugural flight was yet another example of India’s commitment to continue with people-oriented development projects in Sri Lanka. It was also a reflection of the shared commitment to further strengthen people-to-people ties between India and Sri Lanka, which lies at the heart of the bilateral relationship.
The High Commissioner recalled the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Sri Lanka in 2015, in which he had said that, “The future I dream for India is also a future that I want for our neighbors”.
The Government of India had earlier extended grant assistance for the rehabilitation of runway and basic infrastructure at the Palaly Airfield under the MoU concluded in November 2005 with Government of Sri Lanka. Both sides have also been working towards operationalization of regional commercial passenger flights from Jaffna.
The recent expansion of the airport along with setting up of ancillary facilities had been done by Government of Sri Lanka. Regular commercial flights between Chennai and Jaffna are scheduled to start from early November 2019.
(The featured image at the top shows Prime Ministekr Ranil Wickremesinghe, M.A.Sumanthiran MP, President Sirisena, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, Minister, High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Mavai.Senathirajah MP)