On March 27, SriLankan will inaugurated the first direct service between Colombo and New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, operated as a code-share flight on a daily basis with partner Emirates via Dubai. This is a part of an ambitious route expansion programme undertaken by the Sri Lanka’s national carrier. The Tsunami has been devastating for tourism in the Asian region and in turn, as part of the "Bounce Back Sri Lanka Program" SriLankan has added many new services whilst concentrating on its core markets.

SriLankan’s new code-share flight to New York via Dubai will attract west-bound traffic. This will open up a whole new market for SriLankan Airlines. Passengers would find cheaper options for North America through the forthcoming SriLankan-Emirates code-share plan. The effort of the Sri Lanka’s national carrier was to convert Sri Lanka into "the hub in South Asia".

This new service was launched in pursuant to the “Open Skies Agreement”- the Air Transport Agreement between Sri Lanka and the United States of America signed by Hon. Tyronne Fernando, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Hon. Colin Powell, Secretary of State on behalf of their respective Governments on 11th June 2002, in Washington DC, and entered into force on 18th Nov. 2002.

The ‘Open Skies’ Agreement provides the legal framework for unrestricted capacity and frequencies by the airlines of both countries including liberalized code sharing and charter arrangements. The Agreement which covers both passenger and cargo services provides for cooperation in air traffic security and safety between the two countries.

The new direct service between Colombo and New York is expected to bring substantial economic benefits to air travelers, the business community and Sri Lankan expatriates in the United States of America.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

28 March 2005


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