Sri Lanka cuts cake to welcome Russian Red Wings travelers at Mattala Airport
Source : newsfirst
Sri Lanka on Thursday (29) welcomed over 400 Russian passengers aboard the first charter flight operated by Red Wings Airlines to Mattala.
The Russian passengers were welcomed by Minister Nimal Siripala, Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga among other officials, followed by a cake cutting ceremony to welcome the first flight to Mattala in some two months.
This season Red Wings delivers a charter program Moscow-Mattala-Moscow two flights per week operated by Boeing 777-200 planes with 412 seating capacity.
The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport was once dubbed as the “The World’s Emptiest International Airport” by Forbes due to its low number of flights despite the large size of the airport.
The airport has a 12,000 square meter terminal building, 12 check-in counters, two gates, a runway long enough to handle the largest commercial jets, and capacity for one million passengers per year.
Red Wings Airlines is the third Russian Airline serving direct flights to Sri Lanka, said the Sri Lankan Embassy. The other two airlies are Azur Air and Aeroflot.
On December 26th 2022, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation Prof. Janitha A. Liyanage and a team held a meeting with the Commercial Director of Red Wings Igor Tretyakov and Head of Analytical Department Ms. Marina Buzina to discuss the final formalities in this regard.
Initially Red Wings will operate charter services to Sri Lanka twice a week in partnership with leading tour operators in Russia and, discussions are underway to operate regular flights afterwards.
Given that the Russian Federation could be regarded as an important tourist traffic source to Sri Lanka at this trying time, the Embassy is of the view that Red Winds flight operations will be of vital importance to revitalize the tourism industry of the country.
Red Wings ranks in Top-10 of the largest Russian airlines has an extensive network of domestic and international routes but never before in the airline’s 23-year history made flights to Sri Lanka.
“First of all thank you for your warm greetings. We are happy to launch our first Russia-Sri Lanka destination. Red Wings has great experience in so-called recreational transportation and today we added Sri Lanka to our international network. We needed hard work in regulatory, commercial, and technical fields to make this flight possible, and seeing this night hundreds of happy travelers on board our plane I can surely state it all was not in vain” Red Wings’ Deputy Commercial Director Marina Buzina said, according to the Mattala International Airport.
“We are extremely happy to see that Red Wings airline commencing its scheduled charter flights initially to MRIA and we hope that the airline will continue scheduled flight operations to Mattala. Travellers from Russia will enjoy the ease of access to their preferred travel destinations in the island such as Wildlife parks, beaches, and cultural and religious attractions which has made MRIA an attractive Airport for tourism. Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited is very keen facilitate the airliens and to promote Mattala as an “Exotic tourism destination airport” targeting the hot spots for international tourists such as Ella, Yala, Arugam Bay, and Udawalawa, etc.” said Major General G A Chandrasiri, Chairman, Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited.