President inaugurates Cinnamon Air Domestic Terminal
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 00:20
First private sector domestic air terminal in Sri Lanka
President Mahinda Rajapaksa officially opened the first private sector domestic air terminal at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Sunday 27 October. Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa and several other ministers were associated with the inauguration ceremony.
Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Civil Aviation Piyankara Jayaratne, Minister of Social Services Felix Perera, Deputy Minister of Civil Aviation Geethanjana Gunawardena, Deputy Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Milinada Moragoda, John Keells Holdings Chairman/CEO Susantha Ratnayake, Saffron Aviation Ltd. Ajith Gunawardena were included among the invitees who joined President Mahinda Rajapaksa to inspect the Cessna 208 amphibious aircraft at the ceremony of first private sector domestic air terminal at the BIA – Pix by Sudath Silva
Cinnamon Air, owned and operated by Saffron Aviation Ltd., a BOI approved joint venture with an investment of $ 10 million is a budding domestic airline jointly owned by JKH, Mercantile Merchant Bank and Phoenix Ventures, the holding company of Brandix. The airline has been in operation since July this year with daily scheduled flights to tourist destinations within the island.
The new terminal has been developed by Saffron Aviation Ltd. The homely terminal is tucked away in a picturesque garden within the BIA. The airline also has its own hangar at the airport equipped with state-of-the-art maintenance facilities.
Short flying time
Cinnamon Air has invested Rs. 20 million on the new terminal and the airline operates a fleet of three Cessna aircraft, two amphibious and one wheeled, each offering eight passenger seats and daily scheduled flights as well as charter and scenic flights on demand. The flying time to Kandy is just 25 minutes and Sigiriya is just 30 minutes and visitors can be flown to most tourist destinations in less than an hour.
“Cinnamon Air, carried over 900 passengers over the last three months and the projected break even period is year three,” Cinnamon Air Director Romesh David said. “Setting up the airline has enhanced the national tourism infrastructure,” he added.
Daily flights from BIA
Cinnamon Air, operating Cessna 208 Amphibious aircraft, will offer daily flights from the Bandaranaike International Airport to Koggala, Dickwella and back. At the beginning, flights originated from the Dandugama Oya water aerodrome, but with the inauguration, scheduled flights will operate from Cinnamon Air’s dedicated domestic passenger terminal.
In July this year, the airline launched daily scheduled flights from BIA to Kandy (Polgolla) via Colombo, consequent to the completion of passenger handling facilities at the Water’s Edge water aerodrome in Sri Jayawardenepura.
Departure and arrival times of Cinnamon Air’s flights from and to the BIA will be synchronised as closely as possible with the arrival and departure times of SriLankan Airlines and most of the other major international carriers serving Colombo.
Charter services offered
Reservations for seats on Cinnamon Air flights can be made directly via the airline’s website (www.cinnamonair.com), which offers instant confirmation and accepts payment by all major credit cards.
Reservations can also be made through approved travel agents, destination management companies and at the travel counters of several hotels in Colombo and on the southern coast.
Cinnamon Air will also offer charter services to individuals and groups to all airports and approved water aerodromes in the country. These will include locations such as Nuwara Eliya, Arugam Bay, Mattala, Tissamaharama, Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Vavuniya, Victoria (Digana) and Bentota to name a few.
Inquiries for charter flights could be made directly with the airline or via its website or through travel agents, destination management companies and hotel counters.