COLOMBO, 23 February 2021: More airlines are resuming semi-commercial flights to Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake that serves the capital Colombo, the airport announced on its Facebook Page.

Salam Air, an Omani airline, flew 75 Sri Lankans,
repatriating from Muscat last week and will operate weekly flights every
Thursday from Oman’s capital city.

The Thai AirAsia flight FD140/AIQ departed Bangkok 1945 and
arrived in Colombo at 2200 on Monday. Timetable information and flight status
noted no services operated to Colombo from Bangkok over the last 14 days. Pre
Covid-19, Thai AirAsia and AirAsia offered nine flights weekly from Bangkok and
Kuala Lumpur.

Fly Dubai has resumed twice-weekly flights a Boeing 737
between Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Bandaranaike International
Airport on Tuesday and Thursday starting 18 February 2021, according to the
airport’s Facebook posts.

Also in the Middle East, Gulf Air started a twice-weekly
service from Bahrain to Colombo.

Jazeera Airways relaunches international services to Asia
starting with Sri Lanka, 24 February when it reconnects Kuwait with Colombo
with a single weekly flight

Jazeera Airways CEO Rohit Ramachandran commented in the
announcement:  “Despite the current global
situation for the airline industry, we are now able to serve the Sri Lankan
community in Kuwait as well as tourists to Sri Lanka.”

Flights to Sri Lanka were halted following the outbreak of
the Covid-19 pandemic last March but are now slowly resuming as the country
eases health rules that reduce quarantine for bubble stays at sanitised
resorts.

Overseas Sri Lankans commented on Colombo’s airport Facebook pages claiming unfair treatment. They argue that foreigners can visit the country on a three-day quarantine that gives them limited access to a resort and surrounding communities based on a negative Covid-19 test. Citizens returning home must comply with the full 14-day quarantine rule.

The Facebook comment aimed at the airport authorities said:
“U welcome all the airlines, but overseas working Sri Lankans can’t come
back to their land without prior approval or forced quarantine for 14 days.
Meanwhile, the foreigners require only three days of quarantine.”