Air France launches direct flights between Colombo and Paris
Air France expands its long – haul network with the launch of three weekly direct flights between Paris and Colombo.
Customers will be able to travel to Paris and connect to the Air France global network with close to 200 destinations via the convenient hub of Paris, Charles de Gaulle.
Colombo will be served as a seasonal operation in the winter schedule 2021 – 22 and a continuation of the Air France flight from Male.
Customers will experience the best of Air France cabins on board the Boeing 787-9 operating on this route.
Seating capacity of 279 seats (30 in Business, 21 in Premium Economy and 228 in Economy class)
Full – flat beds in Business Class
A dedicated Premium Economy cabin with more comfort and space
Comfortable economy cabin with ample legroom and practical accessories such as USB port
Wi-Fi across all cabins
The first flight departure from Colombo – Paris is on November 5, 2021. Symbolic to new beginnings, Air France will mark this occasion with the lighting of a traditional lamp and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the airport.
Jean-Noel Rault; General Manager Air France – KLM, Indian Sub-continent stated: “We are thrilled to start operations between Colombo and Paris and offer the best of Air France services and care to our customers while applying strict health and hygiene protocols. The connection of Air
France and Colombo dates back to the 1950’s with the route Paris-Rome-Cairo-Bahrain-Karachi-
Colombo-Bangkok-Saigon, operated by our sister company UTA. 27 years later, we are excited to return to Colombo and display our ambition to
include Sri Lanka in our extensive global network”
Eric Lavertu, Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives says “A wonderful reopening of the connection between Paris and Colombo by a French Airline after many years. No doubt that the city of lights and the pearl of Indian ocean are two cities which need direct and frequent relations. Thank you very much to Air France to give them that opportunity.”
Minster of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga says “The government of Sri Lanka is pleased with the decision taken by Air France to operate direct flights to Sri Lanka after a lapse in services for more than 30 year. This marks a momentous occasion in terms of Sri Lankan tourism and the tourism drive undertaken by the government in a post- COVID landscape. The introduction of direct services between Colombo and Paris will assist with the recovery process of tourism in the country and more importantly act as a conduit connecting Sri Lanka to Paris; one of the most important tourism hubs in the world. The network offering from Air France has the capacity to open up our island nation to the entire globe and we are thankful to the airline for selecting us as a winter destination. This step taken by Air France will no doubt lead towards strengthening the bilateral bond between our two nations and we look forward to working closely with France and with the airline towards enhancing these operations in a manner beneficial for both countries. As a government we would like to pledge all possible support to Air France in carrying out its operations in Sri Lanka.”
Air France’s health commitment recognized with the Skytrax COVID Excellence Award
The health and well-being of Air France customers and staff are at the heart of the company’s concerns. Air France is committed to providing its customers optimum health and hygiene conditions at each stage of their trip, upon arrival at the airport. On board the aircraft and throughout the duration of the trip, it is compulsory to wear a surgical mask. The air in the cabin is renewed every 3 minutes. The air recycling system on board Air France aircraft is equipped with HEPA – High Efficiency Particulate Air – filters, identical to those used in hospital operating rooms. Air France has also reinforced aircraft cleaning procedures, notably with the disinfection of all surfaces in contact with customers such as armrests, tray tables and screens before each flight. Air France’s health commitment was recently recognized by the international rating agency Skytrax, which awarded the airline its COVID Excellence Award at the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2021.
Fully modifiable tickets for travel until 31 March 2022.
Customers can modify their reservation free of charge, or request a refundable credit voucher if they no longer wish to travel.
Travel restrictions & heath protocols due COVID-19 Air France flight operations are strictly in compliance with the travel regulations and health, hygiene and quarantine protocols applicable at origin, transit and destination. Before planning travel, Air France recommends its customers to check the applicable travel restrictions and protocols. For a general overview of conditions visit https://airfrance.traveldoc.aero . Days of operation might be subject to change. The latest schedules and fares are available on www.airfrance.in
Technical Certificates of Completion for 64 out of 74 plots of Port City Colombo SEZ
Technical Certificates of Completion for 64 out of 74 plots of the Port City Colombo SEZ have been received by the Commission, a Colombo Port City Economic Commission semi-annual progress report for FY 2022 notes.
A press release by the Commssion said: ‘The Colombo Port City Economic Commission (the Commission), the Single Window Investment Facilitator authorised to assist investors, businesses, and residents in conducting their activities seamlessly and efficiently in Port City Colombo, is pleased to release its semi-annual progress report for FY 2022 from July to December 2022.
‘The Port City Colombo Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is designed to be a prestigious, strategically located city in the heart of South Asia, with sustainable high-quality public spaces and infrastructure, providing top-quality commercial, entertainment, medical, education and lifestyle. International destinations such as DIFC, DMCC, Labuan, Singapore, and Mauritius were studied for their regulatory frameworks, fiscal incentives, and operational efficiency to identify the most competitive processes and policies for Port City Colombo. The benchmarking study was done by global consultants such as Boston Consulting Group, PwC, KPMG, EY, Pinsent Masons, Zico Law, JLL, etc., for the SEZ’s thrust sectors, supported by market feedback on both fiscal and non-fiscal parameters.
‘Port City Colombo SEZ Regulations for the registration, licensing, authorisation and other approvals of Authorised Persons, were published by extraordinary gazette in September 2022, bearing number 2299/46. The SEZ’s Regulations for the registration and licensing of Authorised Person Fees, were also gazetted in September 2022, bearing number 2299/47. The registration of offshore company regulations were gazetted in the month of November 2022, bearing number 2306/54.
‘Agreements have been signed between the Commission and the Registrar General of Companies and Controller General of Immigration and Emigration in order to streamline services offered to Authorised Persons.
‘Sectoral Progress Highlights:
Banking – The Minister of Finance issued licences under the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act to four (4) banks during the first half of 2022. The Commission has since received requests from three (3) more banks during 2022. Additionally, 10 Financial and Banking Regulations were also drafted under Sections 44 and Sections 45 of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act No. 11 of 2021 and are awaiting review with the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka.
Security – The Sri Lanka Police opened a Post on-site for visitor protection, with water access control and lifeguard services being handed to the Sri Lanka Navy. CCTV networks were also installed in public areas.
Social Infrastructure – In addition to an internationally-reputed hospital and school, the Commission has identified the need for a world-class university within Port City Colombo and modified the Master Plan accordingly.
Commercial Infrastructure – With the retail mall infrastructure complete, the commencement of the interior work has begun. The mall will showcase premium merchandise, with an array of cuisine options and entertainment, and is set to commence operations by Q2 of 2023.
Immigration and Visa Arrangements – In collaboration with the Department of Immigration and Emigration, the Commission has introduced three (3) new visa categories for Port City Colombo. These 3 visa categories are – the Investor visa for ten (10) years, the Employment visa for up to five (5) years, and the Resident visa for five (5) years. Port City Colombo visas allow supplementary benefits, such as visas for the spouse, kids, and other support staff members, which can be obtained under the primary visa applicant. The visa fee is USD 200 per year for each applicant. Visas are renewable as required and applicable only to Foreign Investors.
Master Plan Implementation – A planning committee consisting of key stakeholders was created to expedite the approval of building plans submitted under the Development Control Regulations (DCRs) for each plot of the Port City Colombo SEZ. The DCRs provide a clear framework for the development of buildings, land use, green spaces, utility networks, and sustainability measures, among other factors.
Preliminary designs for the Marina Development and Villa Project have been submitted by two investors, with several more plots in the final stages of discussion for lease.
New wealth tax proposals exert negative impact on shares
By Hiran H. Senewiratne
CSE trading activities yesterday were somewhat negative because investors were worried about the impact of the IMF-inspired new wealth tax proposals on citizens, market analysts said.
Apart from profit- takings, the effects of the new direct tax system on citizens created some confusion for stock market investors, analysts said. This was also highlighted by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament yesterday.
Amid those developments both indices moved downward. The All Share Price Index went down by 77.4 points and S and P SL-20 declined by 24.6 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.5 billion with one crossing. The crossing was reported in First Capital Holdings, which crossed one million shares to the tune of Rs 33 million; its shares traded at Rs 33.
In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; SLT Rs 428 million (4 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 115 million (651,000 shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 98.7 million (716000 shares traded), Lanka Hospitals Rs 57.2 million (440,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 51million (7.5 million shares traded), Capital Alliance Rs 50.40 million (1.5 million shares traded) and First Capital Treasuries Rs 46.2 million (two million shares traded). During the day 69.9 million shares volumes changed hands in 21000 transactions.
Yesterday the rupee appreciated against the US dollar. The buying rate was Rs 312.61 and the selling rate Rs 330.16. Further, the price of gold also reduced due to the rupee appreciation.
Dialog, Sri Lanka Air Force & EWIS provides digital education to Ravaneswaran Tamil School, Trincomalee
Dialog Axiata PLC recently joined hands with the Sri Lanka Air Force and E-W Information Systems Ltd to re-furbish the computer laboratory of the Ravaneswaran Tamil School in Kanniya, Trincomalee and upgraded the facility with digital educational tools and equipment. This worthy cause was initiated and directed by the Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) and the Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC.
Dialog provided Magicbit Pro units with full pluggable and sensor modules to explore creativity with technology. Magicbit is an innovation platform and a STEM tool made for Internet of Things (loT), Robotics, Electronics and Programming. Dialog, furthermore, provided Nenasa TV facility and a pledged support for fully paid student broadband facility. Nenasa TV is a Public-Private-Partnership with the Ministry of Education; an initiative to support grade 1 to 13 students through eight dedicated TV channels in Sinhalese and Tamil. The content aired on each channel is provided and strictly monitored by the Ministry of Education.
The Sri Lanka Air Force in China Bay swiftly provided the labour for all civil work and assisted in repairing computers which needed attention, in a span of a few days. E-W Information Systems Ltd provided brand new desktop computers and sourced some of the hardware required to restore the remaining machines, together with Dialog.
Thamotharampillai Sivanantham, Principal of Ravaneswaran Tamil School, expressed his views on this occasion “Our children had an IT laboratory, but with hardly any usable equipment. Still one of our students won the Regional ICT award in 2022. I am very positive our students will fully benefit from the new ICT equipment and internet services. Additionally, our facility was beautifully restored in just a few days. On behalf of the school administration, parents & students I would like to thank Dialog, Sri Lanka Airforce and EWIS for coming together and providing us this service”.
The students and the school administration were overwhelmed by this generosity, a need for many years. Dialog also offered teacher-student training in the use of the technology and will continue to provide service and support on connectivity and together with the SLAF and EWIS would continue to monitor the progress achieved by the school through the provided technology and pledged further assistance in time. This worthy cause was executed parallel to the 10th edition of the Commanders’ Cup golf tournament in Trincomalee, which was sponsored by Dialog Enterprise.
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