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
Cabinet approves rationalization of VAT exemptions and abolition of SVAT System
The Cabinet of Ministers granted concurrence to the resolution forwarded by the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to remove most of the releases from Value Added Tax (VAT), further retaining releases that ease the pressure on low – income families to secure the fundamental sectors of the economy as well as the releases for sectors such as education, health and agriculture, as well as to revise the provisions applicable for the Value Added Tax (VAT) act so that the Simplified Value Added Tax (SVAT) methodology can be canceled with effect from 01.01.2024 by introducing a more formal methodology for repaying the Value Added Tax (VAT) and to instruct the Legal Draftsman to prepare a draft bill for the purpose.
Venora Lanka Power Panels to set up assembly plant in Australia
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Sri Lanka- based, export- oriented manufacturer, Venora Lanka Power Panels (Pvt) Ltd, with a state of the art electric panel factory at the Export Processing Zone, Biyagama, will set up an assembly plant in Australia.
“Once we set up the electric panel assembly plant in Australia, we will export all our panels from Sri Lanka and that plant will do 30 percent value addition to the product to supply that market, the company’s chairman/ Managing Director, engineer Sagara Gunawardena told The Island Financial Review.
Gunawardena said that the company is a value- addition assembly plant and he would be investing AUS $ 2 million for the project to be set up in Melbourne and hire 100 engineers and other professionals. He explained that the venture has enormous potential.
Venora Lanka provides power panels to mega projects in Sri Lanka and exports to Bangladesh, Maldives, Kenya, Ethiopia, Seychelles and Myanmar. Panel assembling is strictly in compliance with IEC 61439 standards, it was explained.
Gunawardena added: ‘I firmly believe that, being a truly customer focused organization, every employee and every process in the organization has to be aligned behind delighting customers. Therefore, at a time when the country is facing a major dollar crisis, my company would be aiming at bringing dollars into the country, while providing employment for local professionals, especially engineers.
‘At Venora Lanka we do not try to change customers’ mindsets. Instead, we take time to understand what they really want and focus our brand on delivering that. Venora is values- driven first and cost- driven second – creating a unique brand proposition.
‘Since the US dollar rate has come down, it is our concern that importers and suppliers do not change their prices, which is really affecting the manufacturing sector.
Company sources added: ‘The company has several wings of operation, such as local and overseas projects, switch board assembling, telecommunication infrastructure installations, earthing, lighting and surge protection, incorporating world renowned brands.
‘Venora Lanka Power Panels is the first Sri Lankan company to receive the licence, in accordance with the UK Trade Mark Act 1994, to use the trade mark “Best Enterprise”. It won a global award at the event, ‘Golden Awards for Quality and Business Prestige’, held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2015.
‘Within a short span of time, with the perfect blend of progressive thinking and expertise, Venora Group has expanded to consist of, Venora International Projects, Venora Telecom, Venora Industrial Solutions and Venora Lanka Power Panels (BOI approved). Further, Venora has established its overseas presence through Venora Engineering Kenya and Venora Engineering Myanmar.’
Share market moves into positive territory; indices up
By Hiran H. Senewiratne
CSE trading got off to a positive note yesterday but during the last session of the day the momentum slowed. However, the market is now moving towards positive territory following the Central Bank announcement of a downward trend in interest rates, market analysts said.
Amid those developments the market witnesses improvements in both indices and in the turnover.
The All- Share Price Index up by 12.8 points and S and P SL 20 rose by 6.97 points. Turnover stood at Rs 710 million with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH which crossed 430,000 shares to the tune of Rs 60.2 million; its shares traded at Rs 140.
In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; JKH Rs 212 million (1.5 million shares traded), Access Engineering Rs 44.7 million ( three million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 34.5 million (264,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 28.6 million (5.3 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 23.8 million (4.7 million shares traded), Capital Alliance Rs 22.9 million (615,000 shares traded) and First Capital Holdings Rs 19.2 million (574,000 shares traded). During the day the 31.4 million shares volumes changed hands in 9000 transactions.
Yesterday, the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 285.16 and the selling rate Rs 298.85.
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