BIA welcomes Emirates A380

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By 2017-08-17

By Chanaka de Silva

Colombo Airport saw the first landing of the A380 by Emirates Airlines this week. The A 380 capable of carrying 520 passengers on its two decks is now capable of making regular commercial flights to Sri Lanka.

Speaking on the occasion Emirates' Senior Vice President Commercial (West Asia and Indian Ocean) Ahmed Khoory said: "This landing of the Emirates A 380 aircraft is a clear indication that the Bandaraniake International Airport (BIA) is now ready. Therefore, the BIA, that had its runway upgraded, signals that it is now A 380 ready. The world' largest A380 operator has already operated commercial flights here. Given the government's focus on the development of tourism this is an important occasion. For the local aviation industry it is a matter of pride that the BIA has joined the ranks of the international airports in the A380 league. For Emirates it is one of our commitment to the market, to the destination and relationship to the destination. It is significant that when the demand of the destination grows this will definitely be the point the scheduled A380 flights are feasible. Emirates will be ready to operate one. With the Emirates A 380 being in service for nine years it is the most talked about passenger aircraft in the world today. It is because Emirates has done a lot for the A380. With its onboard showers, spa, passenger lounges and first class private suites, with lie flat beds and room services, just to mention a few amenities available with Emirates A380 is the ultimate in the luxury of air travel".

Finally, Khoory said: "Emirates is the largest A380 operator with ninety-five aircrafts in operation and a further forty-seven on order.

We operate flights to forty-seven destinations, almost a third of the global network and more than any other airline.

Minister of Transport and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva addressing the gathering said: "We were able to complete the upgrade of the BIA in time. After, twenty years of service this had to be done.

Notwithstanding criticism we completed the task. Therefore, the arrival of the A380 has proven that we are now equal to any airport in the world in being able to land any aircraft here. There are some upgrades that the airport needs which will be done in due course.This too will be done conforming to the highest standards required by the industry".

Pic by Amitha Thennakoon

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