The first-ever Army-managed ticketing agency, ‘Air Travel Services (Pvt) Ltd’, hitherto temporarily housed at the Army Headquarters complex, moved into its new location, No. 31, Kew Road, Colombo 2 (adjoining the Air Force Headquarters premises) yesterday, enabling the public also to reserve their own overseas tickets.
Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the invitation of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, declared open the new ‘Air Travel Services (Pvt) Ltd’ as chief guest on the occasion.
Secretary Defence unveiled the plaque at the entrance to the new venue amidst chanting of Seth Pirith by Buddhist priests and cut a ribbon before the house-warming took place. Thereafter in keeping with the norms and traditions the Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa and other distinguished guests lit the traditional oil lamp followed by the introduction of the staff at Air Travel Office to the chief guest by the Commander of the Army.
Rajapaksa also inquired and discussed the operational details of the office with Lieutenant General Jayasuriya and the staff of Air Travel Services (Pvt) Ltd.
Rajapaksa, symbolising the inauguration of the agency, afterwards delivered the first air ticket to the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya. To signify the occasion, Lieutenant General Jayasuriya in turn issued the second ticket to Brigadier Rohan Kaduwela who is scheduled to fly overseas shortly.
Soon after the inauguration, the official website of the travel agency www.airtravel-services.com was launched amidst greetings and compliments. The public are able to receive destination information, ticket prices, connection possibilities, etc. by logging into this website.
The concept for establishment of an own travel agency, was mooted by the Commander of the Army around the fourth quarter of the year 2010, taking into account of the large numbers of officers proceeding on overseas training courses, seminars, official assignments, etc. as well as their family members, either accompanying them or otherwise. This prompted the initial founding of this ticketing agency on 23 December 2010 by the Army’s Directorate of Movement.
However, the relocation of the new, ‘Air Travel Services (Pvt) Ltd’ beginning Monday (14) with a well trained staff, facilitates the general public to have easy access to the agency for purchase of their air tickets at affordable rates. Air Travel Services (Pvt) Ltd. offers special holiday packages to China, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangkok, and specially organised pilgrimages to Dambadiwa, India.