Coimbatore: There are reports of the country establishing air bubble with Sri Lanka. If this happens, passenger flights to Sri Lanka from Coimbatore, which were operated thrice a week, may restart within one month, SriLankan Airlines sources said.
With flights to both Sri Lanka and Singapore yet to resume, making short international trips from the city has become impossible.
SriLankan Airlines is expecting an air bubble arrangement to be signed by India and Sri Lanka by March-end, a senior official with the operator told TOI. “We are operating two cargo flights a week between Coimbatore and Colombo on Wednesday and Saturday. We are waiting for India to sign the air bubble pact with Sri Lanka, which we expect to happen within the next 10 days. We expect to start flight operation within a week of signing.”
The airline, which was operating three flights a week to and from Coimbatore, was carrying 900 passengers in and out of the city every week, with an occupancy rate of more than 70%.
With flights to Singapore yet to resume, direct international travel from the Coimbatore airport has fallen by two-thirds. “Every month, we would see more than 10,000 departures, but that has now dropped by more than 80%,” said a senior airport official.
Currently, only Air Arabia operates flights to and from Sharjah, which has set up an air bubble.