The inaugural PIA flight from Karachi, which resumed after three years, arrived here at the Bandaranaike International Airport Saturday night, aimed at promoting bilateral ties.
The flight was received by Pakistani High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Seema Ilahi Baloch.
“Sri Lanka and Pakistan have close friendly ties and the initiation of the PIA flights from Karachi will help further enhance these ties,” she said and added, “The flights will also increase the people-to-people contact besides increasing the economic and commercial ties between the two countries.”
Seema pointed out that the bilateral trade between the two countries is to the tune of 300 million dollars and there is scope of further enhancing it.
She said that there exists free trade agreement between Pakistan and Sri Lanka besides the bilateral trade treaty as well as the avoidance of double taxation treaty.
She said Pakistan can export more fruits, vegetable and cement etc to Sri Lanka and that there is also scope for the small and medium enterprises.
Seema said that the private sector may also play its role towards enhancing the trade and commercial ties.
The Karachi-Colombo flights will be availble on daily basis to the passengers, she said. Each week PIA will operate three flights, while Air Lanka will operate four flights, she added.
This will also help enhance tourism as many of the Sri Lankans also wish to visit Taxila and other places in Pakistan.
Earlier, the traditional candle lighting welcome ceremony was performed at the Colombo Airport.
Managing Director of PIA Captain Nadeem Yousuf Zai also attended the inaugural ceremony.