AirSerbia gets 'fifth freedom' rights from Mattala airport
Sri Lanka has approved a bilateral air service agreement with Serbia
under which AirSerbia gets fifth freedom rights to carry traffic between
foreign countries if it uses the Mattala airport in the south which has
failed to draw airlines.
spokesman Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the agreement between
Sri Lanka and Serbia would help develop air services and tourism in Sri
"The Mattala International Airport can be made use of by allowing
Serbian aircraft to fly to other countries," he told a news conference.
The airport has been criticised for its inability to draw airlines
several years after being built with Chinese loans.
Fifth freedom traffic rights refers to the right for an airline to
take passengers from its home country, deposit them at another country
and then pick up and carry passengers from that country to other
international destinations. AirSerbia, formerly Jat Airways, is 49
percent owned by Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier.
Sri Lanka's air service agreement with Serbia allows designated
airlines of both countries, including SriLankan Airlines and Mihin
Lanka, to operate up to seven flights a week using third and fourth
freedom traffic rights.
These are the usual rights for an airline to deliver revenue traffic
from the airline's home country to another country and to carry traffic
The agreement also allows the airlines to operate unrestricted
passenger charter flights between the two countries.