Wed, 04 Oct 2023

COLOMBO, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka plans to start direct flights between Colombo and the Turkish city Istanbul, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation said in a statement on Tuesday.

The ministry said a special discussion between Turkish Ambassador to Sri Lanka Demet Sekercioglu and Ports, Shipping and Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva took place on Tuesday to seek authorization to commence direct flights between Colombo and Istanbul.

"Currently, Turkish Airlines connects with Sri Lanka through a route that includes a stopover in the Maldives, resulting in an additional travel time of one and a half hours. The delay caused by this routing is not favored by travelers, as emphasized by the ambassador," the statement said.

The new service would not only benefit European travelers but also encourage them to travel to Sri Lanka, according to the statement.

The minister said that the upcoming measures would significantly bolster Sri Lanka's tourism industry while simultaneously fostering stronger economic and cultural ties between the two countries.

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