Sri Lanka's Ratmalana Airport will be launching flights to the Maldives after 50 years.
The first flight is scheduled to depart for the Maldives next month. Sri Lankan media has reported that the Maldives will also operate flights to the airport.
Ratmalana Airport was established in 1935 as Sri Lanka’s first international airport. Regional international operation was suspended in 1968, and the airport is now used for domestic operations and to accommodate some private jets. A flying school is also run at the site.
The Sri Lankan government has authorized to use the airport for regional international operation to South Asian countries. Its government recently took steps to remove aircraft parking and parking charges for one year for the promotion of international flights at Ratmalana Airport and to suspend the airport service tax levied on passengers for one year.
A large number of Maldivians reside in the Ratmalana area for education and other purposes. Flights from the Maldives currently fly to Bandaranaike International Airport, which is far from where Maldivians reside in Sri Lanka. As Ratmalana Airport is the closest airport to the Maldives, the travel duration between Sri Lanka and Maldives is expected to decrease, although changes to ticket fares remain unknown.