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Private airlines set to fly to Colombo

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February 21, 2004 13:14 IST

Two months after a decision of the Union Cabinet to allow domestic private carriers to fly to SAARC countries, a notification is likely to be issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Monday to give a go-ahead to the operations to Sri Lanka, civil aviation ministry sources said on Friday.

The decision to allow private operations to Sri Lanka comes in the backdrop of the agreement, signed last October by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe during the latter's visit to India, to allow private airline operations in each other's countries.

Two major carriers, Jet Airways and Air Sahara, have already firmed up their Sri Lanka operations with the former planning to fly daily from Chennai to Colombo, besides five days a week from Mumbai and Bangalore.

Air Sahara plans to fly daily flights to Colombo from Mumbai and Chennai.

Sources said that private carriers would fly abroad only after permission was granted by DGCA, to which the government approval has been forwarded.

The Cabinet had on December 10 last year approved a proposal to allow the private airlines to operate to six member nations of the SAARC.

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