Rotana Jet launches inaugural flights to Lanka
Abu Dhabi, April 12, 2014
Rotana Jet, a leading UAE-based domestic airline, launched its debut flights to Colombo and Mattala in Sri Lanka from its Abu Dhabi hub thus marking a major milestone in its international expansion plan.
The airlines’ first commercial flight to Sri Lanka (Mattala and Colombo) from Abu Dhabi Al Bateen Airport departed on Thursday morning at 1am.
Rotana Jet chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahayan and Dr Mahinda Balasuriya, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to UAE, were onboard the inaugural flight along with a high profile delegation, media and representatives from the travel trade.
The first flight with almost full passengers were welcomed and greeted at Mattala Airport by Prof GL Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, Priyankara Jayaratna, Minister of Civil Aviation, Abdul Hameed Abdul Fatah Kadhim, the Ambassador of UAE for Sri Lanka and other government officials.
Addressing the media at Mattala Airport, Sheikh Ahmed said the airline was commited to Sri Lanka. "We are extremely glad to introduce our first International flights out of GCC to Sri Lanka especially at a time when Sri Lanka is transforming as a tourist destination. For Rotana Jet, this is a significant step, especially at a time when the economy of Sri Lanka is growing."
"It gives me great pleasure to note that the island's tourism business has been flourishing and Rotana Jet is pleased to extend its support for the Government's target in reaching 2.5 million tourist arrivals to the Country by 2016 and going forward," he added.
"Our decision to introduce flights to Mattala and Colombo is the result of our long-term commitment towards the Island. We wish to thank the Government of Sri Lanka for its trust in Rotana Jet and hope that this new connection will benefit both the expatriate community travelling from and to UAE, the Tourists and further facilitate trade and boost business visitors between Sri Lanka and UAE," he added.
For travelers from Abu Dhabi, flights will operate between Al Bateen Airport in Abu Dhabi and Colombo and Mattala on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The Abu Dhabi to Colombo and Mattala flights will depart Abu Dhabi Al Bateen Airport on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 5am while the Thursdays flight will depart at 11.45pm. The return flights will arrive at Al Bateen Airport in Abu Dhabi on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 6pm and on Fridays at 11.45am.
Welcoming the debut flight, Minister of Civil Aviation, Piyankara Jayaratne said the new Rotana Jet flights would help improve closer Lanka-UAE ties and lead to more business opportunities between these two countries.
"This new connection will ensure more convenient schedules for our numerous passengers traveling to the Middle East from this part of the country," he added.
With the start of flights to Mattala and Colombo, the airline’s first route launch of 2014, Rotana Jet now operates to 10 cities from Al Bateen Airport. Rotana Jet currently operates an Airbus 319 in a two class configuration on the route, with 12 Business Class seats and 108 Economy Class seats
The airline currently operates flights to Bahrain, Muscat and Salalah in addition to the flights to Sir Bani Yas Island, Fujairah, Delma and Dubai.-TradeArabia News Service