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Sri Lanka transfers management of Mattala Airport to India-Russia consortium

Sri Lanka’s Aviation Minister, Nimal Siripala de Silva, has announced that the Mattala International Airport in Hambantota will be handed over to a joint India-Russia venture within the next few weeks.

The Mattala International Airport, once dubbed the “world’s emptiest airport” due to its lack of flights, was awarded to the India-Russia joint venture in April. This USD 209 million facility, built during former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rule, has been a financial burden due to heavy losses, reports Financial Experss.

The joint venture, comprising Shaurya Aeronautics (Pvt) Ltd of India and Airports of Regions Management Company of Russia, was chosen after the Sri Lankan Cabinet approved the calling of Expressions of Interest in January. Out of five proposals received, the Cabinet-appointed consultative committee awarded a 30-year management contract to the India-Russia consortium.

The handover of Mattala Airport to the India-Russia joint venture is seen as a strategic move to turn around the airport’s fortunes and improve regional connectivity and economic prospects. (Source: Financial Express)

 

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