The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has approved over 20 charter flights to bring in tourists in February and March.
The new approvals are for flights operated by Ukraine International and SkyUp from Ukraine and Air Astana from Kazakhstan.
Of the approved, 12 are by SkyUp which was the first to arrive under the pilot project of Ukrainian tourists late last month, five by Ukrainian International Airlines and six flights by Kazakhstan.
The CAA last week announced that it had approved two new airlines to operate into Sri Lanka, increasing the number of registered carriers to nearly 40.
Ethiopian Airlines and Maldivian Airlines are the two approved so far among six new applications received by the CAA.
Approval of GoAir – an Indian low-cost airline; Sky Capital Airlines – a Bangladesh cargo airline; Jetsar – an Australian low-cost airline; Air Falcon – a cargo carrier from Pakistan; and Jazeera Airways from Kuwait are pending.
As of January 2020 there were a total of 35 registered airlines. Following the COVID-19 pandemic only eight international airlines and 15 charter carriers were operating to Sri Lanka. These include Emirates, Qatar Airways, Oman Air, Kuwait Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Turkish Airlines. Among the new charter carriers are Ukraine International Airlines, SkyUp Airlines, and Air Astana of Kazakhstan operating to Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA).