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DateLine Wednesday, 13 June 2007

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Deccan Aviation Lanka to fly high



Enjoying paradise isle

MEETING PASSENGER DEMAND: Deccan Aviation Lanka said that in addition to introducing a fixed wing aircraft, they would continue their helicopter operations to cater to tourists, NGO staff and local passengers to fly to domestic airports.

A Deccan official said that an executive type 17 seat Beechcraft 1900c aircraft built by the Raytheon Corporation in the USA, was introduced last month to meet the growing passenger demand. The Deccan fleet is further augmented by a USA built Bell Jet Ranger, the only private helicopter in the country.

“Both our services are operating on a high seat factor and therefore we are looking to invest more in Sri Lanka as we have faith in the destination,” he said.

“We can land in Palai, Minuwangoda, Ampara, Koggala, Weerawila Sigiriya and Ratmalana, and we also pick passengers from the Colombo international airport,” he said. No changes are reputed in Lanka investment arising from the recent Kingfisher-Air Deccan purchase.

“We are reassuring our clients that our services would continue to operate in Sri Lanka despite the drop in tourism arrivals to the country,” he said.

Sri Lankan Airlines, suspended operations of its air taxi services with effect from June 6 this month. However, it is expected that Deccan would be able to cater to the needs of the up market hotels that had come to rely on a hassle free transfer for their VIP guests from the international airport and between destinations within the country.

Earlier this month, Deccan Aviation, CEO Suren Mirchandani commented on the recent creation of India’s biggest airline by the merger of Air Deccan and Kingfisher: “Air Deccan is an investor in our company, we are an independent company.

Today was the same as yesterday here at our company - but obviously we are very pleased that our partner has risen to the number one rank in terms of market share and aircraft in the growing India market.

Capt Gopinath has allowed us to grow our own capacity here in Sri Lanka, and he is like a godfather to everyone here”.

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