Two officials meet travel agents to study potential

SriLankan Airlines has evinced interest in operating flights Colombo to Madurai.

Two of its officials, Samantha Nagahawatte, Area Manager, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and Ahmed Mazahim, Area Manager, Tiruchi, met travel agents here on Thursday to study the potential for air services from this region. They also inspected the facilities at the new airport terminal. Airport Controller K. Sangaiah Pandiyan was present.

At the meeting, members of Travel Club, Madurai, convinced the airlines officials about the untapped potential. “Our projection is that 90 to 100 passengers would travel every day in the Madurai-Colombo sector in both directions. Besides, the traders' traffic would increase,” immediate past president of the club N. Sriram said.

The airlines officials wanted a right mix of passenger and cargo movement so that the venture is economically viable. Besides customs and immigration facilities, they sought cargo storage facility as well. Mr. Sangaiah informed them of the availability of X-ray scanners at the airport. Cargo facilities could come up soon based on the potential, he added.

Travel Club members are confident that once Madurai-Colombo service becomes a reality, air travel from Madurai to international destinations would open up further. “People can get connections to Malaysia, Singapore, Gulf countries and London from Colombo too,” Mr. Sriram added. Textiles and automobile spares which were now being transported from Chennai could be exported from Madurai. Club secretary B.S.G. Mustafa presided.