Sri Lanka - SA enable Air Services
South African Transport Minister, Honourable Dipuo Peters together with the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Nimal Siripala De Silva, exchange signed copies of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) in Tshwane
RSA signs groundbreaking Bilateral Air Services Agreement with Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
On Friday, 21 February 2014, Transport Minister, Honourable Dipuo Peters, together with the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Nimal Siripala De Silva, signed a groundbreaking Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) in Tshwane, further strengthening diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The two Ministers were accompanied by delegations from their respective countries. Sri Lanka is one of the countries from South Asia identified to pursue a review of air services arrangements and renegotiations of Bilateral Air Services Agreements.
Aeronautical authorities of the two countries first met in 1994, the purpose being to discuss matters pertaining to and establish air services arrangements where a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed, whilst a draft BASA was initiated to serve as a working document upon which the two authorities would conclude required constitutional obligations in their respective countries.
In 2010, following a proposal made by the Republic of South Africa, the two authorities agreed to meet for discussions on 16 and 17 March 2011 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Consultations were held after which a managed liberalization framework in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding was signed.
Subsequent to South Africa’s proposal of legal comments on the draft BASA, Sri Lanka accepted the comments and proposed the signing thereof on 29 July 2013.
Subsequently, Minister Peters proposed to the Minister of Civil Aviation of the Government of Sri Lanka Mr. Piyankara Jayaratne that the signing of the BASA take place at the International Civil Aviation Negotiations Conference (ICAN) 2013 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Unfortunately, due to Sri Lanka’s inability to attend the Conference the Agreement could not be signed.
On Friday, 21 February 2014, the hosting of the Sri Lankan delegation by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Hounorable Maite Nkoana-Mashabane enabled the two countries to sign this groundbreaking and milestone agreement to enable air services operations by designated airlines of both countries.
“We started this process all those years ago, way back then in 1994 and today we mark this watershed moment and achievement. This is yet another of our good stories that we are telling that ties and fits very well with the Republic celebrating 20 years of freedom” said Minister Peters.
Currently, there is no direct operator(s) between South Africa and Sri Lanka. South African Airways and the Sri Lankan Airlines are the only two officially designated carriers. Sri Lankan Airlines market services on Etihad operated services to South Africa seven (7) times a week on the Abu Dhabi-Johannesburg route and vice versa.
South African Department of Transport