Second airliner to start its operation between Madurai and Colombo

“Mihin flies you to a rich culture with onward connection to exciting destinations” reads a small advertisement board displayed at the Madurai airport where the inaugural Colombo-Madurai flight of Mihin Lanka landed on Friday.

The board displayed the unique selling proposition (USP) of Sri Lanka’s low-fare airline which boasts of providing connecting flights to various global destinations from the Colombo airport.

Mihin Lanka is the second airliner, after Spicejet, to start its operation between Madurai and Colombo. It will fly an Airbus A320 aircraft on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Rohana Perera, Head of Commercial, Mihin Lanka, said that its code-sharing services with SriLankan Airlines would help passengers of Madurai to get connecting flights to various global destinations with very less waiting time at the Colombo airport. He said the Sabarimala season has attracted pilgrims from Sri Lanka to visit Madurai. He added that Mihin Lanka was ready to increase the thrice-a-week frequency depending upon the need.

The inaugural flight landed in Madurai with 108 passengers. Ninety nine passengers left for Colombo by the return flight. The flight lands in Madurai at 3.10 p.m. and leaves at 4.10 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays. On Wednesdays arrival would be 3.25 p.m. and departure 4.25 p.m.

“Mihin Lanka and Sri Lankan Airlines operate flights to five destinations between 6 p.m .to 6.30 p.m. every day from Colombo. The timings of Madurai-Colombo flight service will be ideal for passengers from Madurai to take their connecting flights to Kuwait, Dubai, Bahrain, Doha and Muscat. Besides, we operate a flight to Jeddah on Fridays,” said B. Prathapan, Manager (Tamil Nadu and Karnataka), SriLankan Airlines. “The comfort of the passengers, who books tickets to other international destinations, will be taken care by us at the Colombo airport,” he added.

The immediate benefit of the competition between airlines on the route is that Spicejet that was allowing only 20 kg free baggage till recently has increased it to 30 kg on the introduction of Mihin Lanka services, past president of Madurai Travel Club, G. Vasudevan, said.

One of the passengers, Mohammed Ibrahim Shah Babu, who arrived in Madurai from Saudi Arabia with his family, was all happy about landing in Madurai airport. “I am very happy to land in an international flight in my town,” he said. Otherwise, he would have to undergo at least two hours of road journey from Tiruchi airport to reach home.

Senior president of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, S. Rethinavelu, demanded a cargo terminal facility at airport.

Airport Director K. Sangaiah Pandian, V.T.K. Nayanar, Commissioner of Central Excise and A.S. Meenalochani, Joint Commisioner of Central Excise, president of Travel Club, Madurai, B.S.G. Mustafa, and N. Sriram of Balika Travels, were among those who were present.