To prevent the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus, The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka has postponed the reopening of its airspace for commercial flights, scheduled for Saturday, an official said.
The country will be announced the subsequent date for the resumption of international flights in the coming days.
Last week, the CAASL had announced that it’ll resume international flight operations from December 26, eight months after they were closed in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.
GA Chandrasiri, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services on Saturday said that the decision to postpone the resumption of flights was taken in the wake of the new coronavirus strain, which is spreading fast within the united kingdom.
Another senior airport official said that because of the postponement, the flight carrying Russian tourists which were scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka Sunday has been cancelled.
The flight was a part of the government’s efforts to reopen the island nation to foreign tourists amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, a flight with a bunch of tourists from Ukraine will arrive in Lanka on Monday as scheduled, Suriyarachchi said.
Several countries across the globe have already closed their land and sea borders and suspended commercial flights over fears about the new coronavirus strain.
Sri Lanka’s two international airports were closed in mid-March because the country went into a lockdown. The lockdown was gradually lifted by mid-May.
Initial plans were to open international flights by the end of August but the COVID-19 cases abroad rose and the plans were stalled.
Sri Lanka was hit by a coronavirus second wave in October.