Courtesy of Sunday Island, 28 October 2013
Cinnamon Air Terminal at BIA
President Mahinda Rajapaksa will today open the first domestic air terminal at the Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake following the inauguration of the new Katunayake Expressway. This new terminal has been developed by Cinnamon Air, the USD 10 million domestic airline jointly owned by JKH (40%), Mercantile Merchant Bank (31%) and Phoenix Ventures, the holding company of Brandix holding the balance 29%. The airline has been in operation since July with daily scheduled flights to tourist destinations within the island.
The homely terminal is tucked away in its own garden within the BIA. The airline also has its own hangar at Katunayake equipped with state-of-the-art maintenance facilities. Rs. 20 million has been invested in setting up the terminal
Cinnamon operates a fleet of three Cessna aircraft, two amphibious and one wheeled, offering eight passenger seats and daily scheduled flights as well as charter and scenic flights on demand. Flying time to Kandy is just 25 minutes, Sigiriya 30 minutes and a visitor can be flown to most tourist destinations in less than an hour. “We’ve carried over 900 passengers over the last three months and the projected break even period is year three,’’ Mr. Romesh David, Director of Cinnamon Air said. “Setting up the airline has enhanced the national tourism infrastructure.’’
The fleet comprises two Cessna 208 Amphibious Caravans and a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan on wheels.
The flight to Kandy from the BIA is via Water’s Edge (10 minutes) with flights to the southern beaches at Koggala (35 minutes) and Dickwella (40 minutes). The airline will fly a visitor to Batticaloa in 45 minutes and to Trincomalee in 50.
Scheduled flight times have been coordinated with arrival and departure times of SriLankan with whom Cinnamon has a code share arrangement, with one of its aircraft sporting the SriLankan livery, and other international airlines serving Colombo.