Ex-President's inaugural flight to Hambantota | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Ex-President's inaugural flight to Hambantota

In this photo taken on March 18, 2013 a SriLankan Airlines Airbus A340 carrying former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who became the first passenger to go through the facility, lands at the new Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota. Five years later, the country’s jinxed second airport was left without a single scheduled flight after the only airline using the facility scrapped its daily service last Friday (8). Dubai’s flydubai gave no reason for the pullout, but ministers said its operations were hampered by a lack of passengers and its aircraft being hit by birds. Mattala International was built during the previous Rajapaksa regime at a cost of USD 270 million financed by Chinese loans, but the airport has struggled to attract air traffic (Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFP)