SriLankan airlines
An Airbus from Sri Lankan Airline takes off from Bandaranaike International airport in Katunayaka, May 3, 2007.Reuters File

Sri Lanka's national carrier SriLankan Airlines on Sunday officially took over its sister concern firm Mihin Lanka. On Sunday, the first SriLankan Airlines flight on Mihin Lanka route arrived at Madurai from Colombo.

A ceremonial welcome was held at Madurai airport, where the airlines' manager for Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, SP Mohan, lit a lamp to mark the inauguration, the Hindu reported.

"SriLankan will provide better connectivity to passengers of Madurai to various global destinations," Mohan told the publication. There is a huge demand for passengers from Middle East for connectivity to Madurai.

According to SriLankan Airlines sources, there would be no change in the schedules or the aircraft. The passengers would now have the option of enhanced connectivity to international destinations.

As part of its India operations, Mihin Lanka also has flights to Chennai, Kolkata, Gaya and Thiruvananthapuram.

In other news, the Colombo-headquartered carrier is India's top foreign carrier, operating 106 flights to and from various destinations in India every week.

Earlier in April, it was reported that the national carrier was looking for suitable partners to help run the loss-making entity Mihin Lanka, whose accumulated loss stood at Sri Lankan Rs 128.24 billion (about $880 million approx) as of the last financial year.