• Congratulations to Sri Lanka’s Aviation Industry for flying our national air carrier for 71 years with loyalty and dedication.

    Today, December 10, I am proud to congratulate Sri Lanka’s Aviation Industry for flying our national air carrier for 71 years with loyalty and dedication, to serve millions of passengers from across the globe.

    Sri Lanka’s first national air carrier, Air Ceylon was established on this day, in 1947, after its inaugural flight took off from the Ratmalana Airport, shortly after 8am, to head for Palaly.

    After a brief stop there, the flight, with 16 passengers on board, proceeded to Madras, today known as Chennai, and returned to Colombo by the same route later that day.

    This was a start to a fantastic journey, and the local aviation industry has since then achieved many milestones and won several awards for their dedication and top quality international service.

    Air Ceylon back then, partnered with other world renowned flights such as the Australian National Airways and KLM, and when the Bandaranaike International Airport completed construction in 1967, Air Ceylon opened its hub there.

    The airline however ceased all operations in 1979 and Air Lanka was later established as the new national air carrier.

    Today, transforming from Air Ceylon to Air Lanka to Sri Lankan Airlines, I am proud to say that our national air carrier, has come a long way and over the years, safely transported millions of passengers across the world and has won the trust of millions of local and international flyers.

    Sri Lankan Airlines has also over the years won several top international awards and is today recognized as one of the leading brands in Asia.

    I wish the local aviation industry many more years of success and will continue to work towards strengthening this industry for the benefit of millions of people.

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