BIA Airport closed to commercial flights from March 19, 2020. Can’t enter Sri Lanka.

In a bid to keep the transmission of CoVid19 into Sri Lanka, the Health Authorities in the country have taken the decision to shut down incoming commercial flights into the country for a week. As per a notice posted on the website of the Sri Lankan Airports & Aviation Services,

According to the instructions received from Sri Lanka Health Authorities, all international Airports in Sri Lanka will be closed for operation of inward international commercial passenger flights (i.e. arrivals) with effect from 0400hrs on 19 March 2020 (local time in Sri Lanka) until 2359hrs on 25 March 2020 (local time in Sri Lanka). The closure will be reviewed by the Sri Lanka Authorities.

During the above mentioned restricted period the following will be permitted:
1. Aircraft Departures with passengers originating from Colombo, stop overs, transit passengers or visiting tourists.
2. Emergency Diversions to BIA
3. Freighter Operations and humanitarian flights to BIA
4. Technical landings at BIA
5. Inbound ferry flights (without passengers) at BIA

What this clearly means is, Sri Lanka is currently open to people leaving Sri Lanka but is not open to having people come into Sri Lanka. The following airports are covered:

  • Colombo International Airport (RML)
  • Jaffna International Airport (JAF)
  • Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB)
  • Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (HRI)

It is not clear at the moment if Sri Lankan will just cancel all their bookings for the time being or operate flights outwards from Sri Lanka but ferry empty flights back. Keep an eye on the Sri Lankan airlines website to get more information on an ongoing basis.

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Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Any idea if Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) is open to its people to enter? Please let me know as there are flights available on SriLankan Airlines.

  2. Dissapointed that you have not taken a few min. To even update your website with current plans for opening the BIA. I’m waiting to return when I left the country for a month in March.

  3. please inform me when sri lankan airport will be open .it is very urgent for me to visit sri lanka .please inform me.

  4. Please let me know when Sri Lanka air port open for People to come in to Sri Lanka ..when do we have to apply for ETA.

  5. May l know from baharain when can
    We travel to Colombo after 19th.

    Opening date and flights available
    Direct or transit

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