Sri Lanka has postponed the reopening of its airspace for commercial flights, scheduled for Saturday, to prevent the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus, officials said.
The next date for resumption of flights will be announced later.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) had announced last week that it will resume international flight operations from December 26, eight months after they were closed in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The decision to postpone the resumption of flights was taken in the wake of the new coronavirus strain, which is spreading fast in the UK, said GA Chandrasiri, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services, on Saturday.
According to Rajeeva Suriyarachchi, another senior airport official, due to the postponement, the flight carrying Russian tourists which was scheduled to arrive in Lanka on Sunday has been cancelled.
The flight was a part of the government’s efforts to reopen the island nation to foreign tourists amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, a flight with a group of tourists from Ukraine will arrive in Lanka on Monday as scheduled, Suriyarachchi said.