After Sri Lankan authorities seized its Airbus A330 jet, Russia’s Aeroflot has halted commercial flights to Colombo. Passengers with return tickets to Russia from Colombo on June 2, 4, and 5 will be transported to Russia from Sri Lanka on June 4 and 5. According to the announcement, repatriation flights would fly to Colombo sans passengers. Passengers holding tickets to Moscow for later dates will also be sent home on time, according to the company.
“Aeroflot is suspending commercial flights to Colombo (Sri Lanka) for the immediate period due to an unreliable situation in terms of the airline`s unobstructed flights to Sri Lanka. The sales of tickets for flights to Colombo have been temporarily shut down,” the statement noted.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Sri Lanka`s Airport and Aviation Services issued a statement in which it stated that the flight to Moscow, which was scheduled to take off on June 2, had been restrained due to the absence of a permit from Sri Lanka`s aviation authorities.
According to the release, the Commercial High Court noted that the dispute between the Aeroloft-Russian Airlines and Celestial Aviation Trading Limited was purely a matter of a commercial nature which should be dealt with between the said two parties and no involvement of the state was emphasised.
A court hearing to lift the seizure of the aircraft is scheduled for June 8, 2022, according to the statement released by Sri Lanka`s Airport and Aviation Services. Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it had summoned Ambassador of Sri Lanka Janitha Abeywickrama Liyanage and had protested in connection with the detention of an Aeroflot plane at the Bandaranaike airport, Daily Mirror reported.”
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On June 3, the Ambassador of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation, J.A.Liyanage, was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry,” the ministry said.”We called on the Sri Lankan side to resolve this problem in a short time in order to avoid its negative impact on traditionally friendly bilateral relations,” the ministry concluded.
( With inputs from ANI)