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Sri Lanka attack: AI defers launch of Mumbai-Colombo flight

NEW DELHI: Air India has deferred the launch of its Mumbai-Colombo flight following the Easter Sunday serial blasts in the Sri Lankan capital. The five-times weekly was to start from May 1 but might now start a month later. AI, IndiGo, SpiceJet and SriLankan Airlines are continuing their existing flights between India and the island nation.

However given the security situation in Colombo, several travellers are postponing or cancelling their trips to the island. IndiGo on Thursday tweeted, “The full fee waiver on rescheduling/ cancellation for all flights to/from Colombo has been extended till May 15, 2019.” Air India has done the same till April 30 and may extend the date further.

Passengers flying out of terror-hit Colombo have been asked to reach the airport at least four hours before flight departure time due to heightened security measures there.

Fearing a big hit on its tourist inflow, Sri Lanka’s tourism promotion board and tourism development authority have issued a statement saying that all steps have been taken to ensure safety of tourists and that it “looks forward to warmly welcome all those who have planned trips to the country in the days, weeks and months ahead.”

“Sri Lanka tourism wishes to assure tourists who are already in the country and unaffected by the terror attacks that the police, tourism police and security forces are jointly implementing a comprehensive security plan to ensure their safety across the island including all important tourism sites… Sri Lanka tourism would like to reassure the world that the country is open for business and all possible measures have been taken to ensure the safety and security of tourists. Our tourism sites, hotels, resorts and other tourist attractions will remain open as usual. There are no road closures or restrictions on movement anywhere in the island,” the tourism board said in a statement.

“Sri Lanka is a proudly diverse nation which celebrates its multicultural nature. Since the end of the war a decade ago, Sri Lanka has enjoyed absolute peace and it will do everything within its power to maintain the peace that every Sri Lankan cherishes and rebuild what has been destroyed with renewed vigour. There is no place for terrorism of any kind in Sri Lanka and whoever that is responsible for the Easter Sunday violence will be hunted down and punished in the strongest possible manner,” the tourism board statement added.

News credit : Indiatimes