Tuesday, July 2, 2013

■ SEYCHELLES: Sri Lanka, Seychelles sign BASA; SriLankan Airlines "keen" on flights.

Following bilateral discussions held between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Seychelles counterpart James Alix Michel on June 30, in Mahé, Sri Lanka and Seychelles signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Defence Cooperation, a Bilateral Air Services Agreement and a MoU on Vocational Training and Youth Development.

The signing ceremony itself (Lanka)
The signing ceremony itself (Lanka)
The Sri Lankan President, accompanied by Ministers and high-level officials of the government, on Monday concluded a two-day state visit to Seychelles undertaken at the invitation of President Michel.

During a meeting with the President James Michel, Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, confirmed that his country's national carrier, SriLankan Airlines (UL), is "keen" to start flights to Seychelles this year.

The two leaders emphasized that the establishment of air links between the two Indian Ocean islands will be a catalyst for further strengthening the economic partnership between the two countries and efforts should be expedited to establish such links as soon as possible following the signing of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement.
"The new flights will surely open doorways for business, tourism, cooperation and trade exchanges between Seychelles and Sri Lanka. Seychelles can become a gateway to Africa and other parts of the world. The air links will be a catalyst to ensure increased cooperation between our two countries," President Michel has said. 

The details of the new routes will be further discussed in the near future. 

Of late, with the ongoing global economic crisis, various Indian Ocean island states have either signed or revised existing Bilateral Air Services agreements as a means of tapping into new markets.