The re-opening of the Airport for commercial passenger flights has been postponed, taking into account the prevailing COVID-19 situation in a number of foreign states with the discovery of more contagious strains of the virus, officials said.

“Only approved special aircraft will be allowed to enter the country. Thereby, the previous procedure where Sri Lankans who wished to be repatriated should contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for approval, then obtain approval from the Civil Aviation Authority will continue,” Upul Dharmadasa, the Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority told News 1st on Saturday (Dec. 26).

Only 50 passengers will be allowed per flight.

“Cargo flights will operate as usual and the crew aboard cargo flights from the United Kingdom are required to undergo the 14-day mandatory quarantine,” Chairman of CAA – Upul Dharmadasa further noted.

According to Dharmadasa, the approval was initially granted for Charter Flights from Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan to arrive in the country.

However, it was announced on Friday (Dec. 25), the group of tourists from Russia that was scheduled to arrive as the first batch of tourists under the pilot project of tourism revival post-COVID-19 had abandoned the tour.

“The flight from Ukraine is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka as scheduled on the 28th of December adding it will land at the Mattala International Airport,” Dharmadasa said.