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Report and pics from Rajtilak Naik in Dabolim airport

Dabolim, Goa, Oct 30: The SriLankan Airlines have finally made it to Goa and made it its 10th destination in India.

The SriLankan Airlines landed on the Dabolim Airport in Goa on Monday, October 30 morning at 7.30 am thus making Goa its 10th destination in the country. The flight will be operating between Colombo and Goa and back, with convenient connection flights to the Middle East.

The duration of the flight between Dabolim and Colombo will be two hours.

The SriLankan Airlines plane after landing at the Dabolim Airport in Goa.

The plane's crew is seen alighting

Passengers are seen getting down after landing on the Dabolim Airport this morning.

The crew and the passengers were accorded a warm welcome received by Goa chief minister Pratap Singh Rane along with the MD of Goa Tourism Development Corporation Fatima D'sa and other officials of the Tourism Department.

Chief minister Rane is seen cutting the inaugural ribbon after receiving the crew and the passengers. Also seen is the Sri Lankan High Commissioner C R Jayasinghe.

A traditional welcome

The captain, and a view of passengers seen getting in

The SriLankan air hostess zone

Passengers are seen getting in, and a view of the aircraft

From the Sri Lankan side the crew was accompanied by Sri Lankan high commissioner C R Jayasinghe along with head of the worldwide passenger sale Manoj Gunawardane with head of corporate sales Chandan D'Silva.

Chief Minister Rane, in his inaugural speech, invited the the Sri Lankans to strengthen the cultural bond between the two culturally rich places upon sending performing artistes from Goa to Sri Lanka and vice versa.

The Sri Lankan high commissioner accepted the offer and promised to improve on the cultural relationship and also build up a strong chain in the tourism sector. During the press conference many tourist package schemes were introduced. 

Update: Monday, Oct 30, 5-45 pm

Our special correspondent in Panaji adds:

Panaji: Srilankan airlines on Monday operated its first scheduled bi weekly Goa-Colombo-Goa flight adding this western state as its tenth destination in India and 50th globally.

“Soon Coimbatore and Pune will be added to our list of Indian destinations besides operating one more daily flight to Hyderabad,” Senaka Fernando, regional manager, Indian sub continent, Srilankan airlines, told reporters.

Briefing presspesons in Panaji, Srilankan airlines authorities including Manoj Gunawardane, head of worldwide passenger sales and Chandana De Silva, head of corporate communications, rolled out their ambitious plans to fly more often in India to promote tourism industry here. C R Jayasinghe, Srilankan high commissioner, was also present for the briefing.

“Srilankan, largest foreign carrier in India with 87 flights per week, has 15 flights to Chennai, 13 to Trivandrum, 11 to Kochi, 10 to Trichy, eight to Calicut and one daily to New delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore,” Manoj Gunawardena, head of worldwide passenger sales, Srilankan airlines, stated.

“Recently concluded air services meeting in columbo has also provided the airlines with the opportunity to add additional seven flights to Mumbai, this winter,” he added.

After their collaboration with kerala tourism, Srilankan intends to tie up with Goa tourism to promote the industry. “We have clear focus on marketing India abroad. We have been working with the Indian tourism officials in Germany, UK and France besides others,” Gunawardane said.

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