Alliance Air, an Air India subsidiary, has proclaimed that it will perform the service four times per week. The air link was willingly restored in November 2019 after more than 40 years and operated for only four months before Covid-19 shut down international borders and trips in March 2020.
India and Sri Lanka are all set to restore a vital connectivity link with the resumption of flights between Chennai and Jaffna from Monday.
Alliance Air, an Air India subsidiary, has declared openly that it will perform the service four times a week. The air link, first revived in November 2019 after more than 40 years, ran for just four months before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down international borders and travel in March 2020.
When flights started again and Sri Lanka’s preliminary airport at Colombo reopened to international flights, Jaffna International Airport stayed closed
India had shoved for the resumption of this link between Sri Lanka’s Tamil north to Tamil Nadu. But a conference of minds on the issue became possible only earlier this year, in the wake of the island nation’s economic meltdown during which India reached out with financial and other aid.
The air link could prompt economic activity in the northern province, the main theatre of the long civil war.
The connectivity is anticipated to encourage tourism, including pilgrimage tourism, from southern India to Sri Lanka’s Tamil north, conveying valuable foreign exchange to the beleaguered Sri Lankan economy. It could also draw acquisition to Jaffna and other parts of the northern province (comprising the five districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, and Vavuniya) and open up business and trade opportunities between the two flanks.
Homebound Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora residents in other parts of the world may also find a direct short-haul flight from Chennai to Jaffna more convenient and economical than traveling to Colombo and making another six-hour, 400-km journey north by road or train.