Sri Lanka-Netherlands air services deal to provide stronger platform for connectivity, tourism and business

The bilateral Air Services Agreement signed between the Netherlands and Sri Lanka on Wednesday, 22 February in The Hague will provide a stronger platform to intensify connectivity both between the countries as well as the European and Asian regions. 

The instrument inked at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides, inter alia, for the designated airlines of both countries to fly between Amsterdam and Katunayake and beyond their respective territories. 

While the agreement broadens avenues for leisure and business travel and enhances business interaction, it will also provide a speedier conduit for transfer of cargo. 

Sri Lanka has been a popular destination among Dutch travellers. 11,987 Dutch tourists have travelled to Sri Lanka in 2022, despite the travel restrictions which prevailed during certain periods in the year. 

Sri Lanka’s envoy to the Netherlands Ambassador Aruni Ranaraja and Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management Actg. Director General for Civil Aviation H. van Faassen signed the instrument. 

The signature of the agreement reflects the mutual desire to further deepen the bilateral relationship. The two countries celebrated 70 years of formal diplomatic relations in 2021.

The agreement signed on 22 February comes into effect on the first day of the second month following the date of the latter written notification through diplomatic channels, replacing a 1953 instrument.