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‘Spark Air’ plans 2021 launch in Sri Lanka

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

A private sector consortium of local and foreign investors will be launching a new airline in Sri Lanka named ‘Spark Air’, with plans to begin their flights in February 2021 with a pair of Airbus A330.

“We have already inked agreements to acquire two A 330 aircraft for the operation which is expected to take wings in early February 2021 after receiving IATA approval. Initially, we will be handling cargo,” Head of Safety Management System, Capt. Uditha Danwatte said.

Spark Air will have its base-hub in Mattala Rajapaksa Airport and have already taken space for two hangers and for a cargo storage facility. “We plan to start recruitment by December and will be opening our sales office in Colombo in January.” he said.

Outlining their plans he said that they would be initially launching flights to Asia and European destinations mainly targeting cargo since passenger operations are too early to commence due to the COVID pandemic.

As of now the airline has identified 15 international destinations to be included on our radar which include Los Angeles. When the pandemic settles, we plan to operate as a full service airline mainly targeting new destinations that are currently not serviced from Colombo.” he Danwatte said.

He said that the Management has plans to take the two aircraft on dry lease since over 350 pilots and thousands of experienced airline crew are grounded due to COVID. “Similarly the management thought that this is also the best time to go in for airline leases since the conditions are very favorable.” he added.

He is a former pilot of the Sri Lanka Air Force with many bravery medals to his credit who has also served SriLankan and Mihin Lanka,

Danwatte together with his son, created aviation history by flying an Air Asia flight to Sri Lanka becoming the only father and son pilot combination to fly a foreign flag carrier to Colombo and back to Kuala Lumpur.

Their company plans to establish a managing, repairing and overhauling aircraft service centre which is known as MRO project in Sri Lanka , which could provide more than 15,000 jobs for Sri Lankans with the right skill set. At present MRO services are not done in India and we could attract other airlines to offer such services, Danwatte said.



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Cabraal briefs Chief Incumbents on Port City Project Commission Bill

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On the instructions of the President and the Prime Minister, State Minister of Finance Ajith Nivard Cabraal on April 19 visited the Asgiriya Chapter, the Malwathu Chapter and the Chief Prelates of the Amarapura and Ramanna Maha Nikayas and briefed them on the relevant draft commission bill on Port City Project.

Cabinet Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, Minister of State Lohan Ratwatte, Minister of State Kanaka Herath, MP Wasantha Yapa Bandara and MP Kokila Gunawardena were also present on the occasion.

 

 

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Growing importance of training for nurses taking care of patients with NCDs

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To keep pace with the rapid expansion and increasing complexity of elderly home healthcare, training needs of home healthcare nurses must be identified and subsequent training programs implemented. English Nursing Care conducts training sessions on a weekly basis covering a variety of care needs for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) such as diabetes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) record that NCDs are estimated to account for 75% of total deaths in Sri Lanka.

Furthermore, according to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health “although people are living longer, they live more years suffering from disease and disability, mainly from NCDs; life expectancy at birth in Sri Lanka is 74.9 years but healthy life expectancy at birth is only 67.0 years.” This has a significant impact on quality of life.

English Nursing Care Sri Lanka works towards improving the quality of life of the elderly living with NCD’s by training nurses on the most advanced and developed methodologies brought through years of experience internationally and locally. Being responsible for the well-being of your loved ones is pivotal in the service they provide.

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SriLankan Airlines welcomes Indian delegation to Sri Lanka

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SriLankan Airlines in a bid to recommence Indian tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka under the proposed bio-bubble tourist arrival concept successfully completed a familiarization tour for Indian media and travel trade professionals recently. A delegation of tour operators, agents, and senior editors representing influential media institutions concluded a familiarization tour in Sri Lanka.

The delegation spent six nights and seven days touring the country while being subjected to mandatory PCR testing and other health guidelines imposed by the Ministry of Health. Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, the delegation toured the most sought-after local tourist sites including Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Bentota. The tour was initiated by SriLankan Holidays and the ground arrangements for the tour were handled by Jetwing Travels, Aitken Spence, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), and Hamoos Travels.

The main purpose of their participation in this fam tour was to restore confidence in visiting Sri Lanka, especially among the Indian tourists to provide them in-depth knowledge on how the country’s tourism industry operates under the bio-bubble concept. Apart from visiting various places, they experienced the stringent health and safety protocols adopted by the country in resuming tourism under the “bio-bubble” concept allowing tourists to roam around without mixing with the local population.

During their stay here, the delegation was hosted for a virtual meet-and-greet with SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ashok Pathirage, Chief Executive Officer Vipula Gunathilleka, and Head of Worldwide Sales & Distribution Dimuthu Tennakoon. The discussion focused on the airline’s operations to India, vaccination and quarantine travel arrangements between the two countries, current safety measures, and guidelines pertaining to the bio-bubble concept. They lauded the effort taken by officials to make their trip a memorable one.

The Indian delegation was highly impressed with the opportunities they were given to travel and explore the country and its exclusive holiday prospects for the enthusiastic traveller. This fam tour was a manifestation of the immense potential of Sri Lanka as a post-covid travel destination enticing the Indian traveller.

 

 

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