The Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has secured an assurance from SriLankan Airlines that it would introduce direct flight from Sri Lanka to Madurai, most probably from January 15. (Pongal).

The assurance was given by Mr Nishantha Wickramasinghe, Chairman of Sri Lankan Airlines, while a delegation from the chamber led by its President Mr N. Jegatheesan and the senior President, Mr S. Rethinavelu, met him at Tiruchi on Sunday.

Recounting the efforts taken persistently through the past year to make Madurai an international airport since the inauguration of world-class new terminal building at the Airport, the Chamber in a statement said that on hearing about the presence of the Chairman of SriLankan Airlines at Tiruchi on Sunday, a delegation from the chamber met the Chairman and through a power-point presentation elaborated on the potential of passengers and cargo traffic from the southern districts of Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka and transfers thereon to all parts of the world, since Sri Lanka had good connectivity internationally.

Bilateral pact

Mr Nishantha Wickramasinghe, the statement added, had agreed to introduce a direct flight from Sri Lanka to Madurai since the airport bilaterial agreement between India and Sri Lanka has included Madurai Airport and Srilankan Airlines have sufficient rights to introduce more flights to Indian destinations.

Pongal gift

A request was made to him to introduce the direct flight from January 15, as Pongal gift to the people of Tamil Nadu, particularly southern Tamil Nadu and he assured that he would confirm the inaugural date within two days, the statement added.

(This article was published on December 5, 2011)
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