Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
30 Apr, 2020 | 5:40 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st): National carrier SriLankan Airlines requested students in United Kingdom and Australia who wish to be repatriated to register.
“Students holding Sri Lankan passports in the United Kingdom or Australia who wish to be repatriated to Sri Lanka, are kindly advised to register themselves with the Sri Lankan High Commission in their respective countries at the earliest,” SriLankan posted a travel notice on its official Facebook page on Thursday (30th April).
On 21st April, it was reported Sri Lankan Airlines will operate special flights from India’s Amritsar, Coimbatore, Pakistan’s Karachi, Lahore and Nepal’s Katmandu to bring home 433 Sri Lankan students stranded overseas due to the prevailing travel restrictions imposed in view of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Since the 21st of April, more than 520 Sri Lankans with a majority of students have been repatriated from India, while over 100 Sri Lankan students were repatriated from Pakistan.
From Nepal around 76 students have been repatriated and over 70 students from Bangladesh.
Allegations were levelled against Sri Lankan Airlines recently mainly on social media, that the national carrier charged exorbitant amounts from students who were being repatriated.
Responding to these claims Sri Lankan Airlines issued a statement on the 26th of April and said, “SriLankan Airlines rose to the occasion where staff of the airline were risking the safety of their lives and families to operate a humanitarian flight that did not have a commercial objective” adding that it was in this respect the airline had to quote fares that were purely based on costs for the special repatriation flight unlike general market fares that are based on market dynamics.
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