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Jinxed Lanka airport loses last international carrier

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

The only international flying to the in southern has pulled out, pushing the loss-making facility into further crisis.

A release from Fly said operations were being halted from the airport due to non-commercial viability.

The built with Chinese loans was named after former Mahinda Rajapaksa, but was later dubbed "the world's emptiest airport" due to a lack of operating flights.

The airport has not generated enough revenue to pay back the loans.

Environmentalists have also criticised the airport that was built in an elephant and bird habitat.

Migratory birds, which frequent the area, have been involved in collisions with aircraft approaching or departing from the airport.

Rajapaksa's Chinese-assisted infrastructure projects have raised much criticism. However the current government of his successor was not able to abandon any of them.

Rajapaksa has hit back at the for "sell outs" of the Chinese projects allegedly through converting high interest loans into equity with Chinese state firms.

The airport was opened in 2012 after the completion of its first phase. The export had lent USD 210 million for its construction.

The current government is to enter a joint venture with to operate from the middle of this year, officials said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, June 08 2018. 19:55 IST