Air travel to Jaffna costlier due to closure of A9 highway
The closure of the A9 highway connecting Colombo with Jaffna has hit travellers hard with the flight fare from the island nation to Tamil Nadu working out cheaper than travel to the embattled city.
According to travel agents, the two-way airfare between Colombo to Jaffna ranges from Rs 18,000 (Sri Lankan rupees) to Rs 19,500, the Sunday Leader Newspaper reported.
Tickets between Colombo and Tamil Nadu are available in the range as Rs 13,800 to Rs 17,500 both ways, it said, adding the cheapest airfare to Tamil Nadu is as low as Rs 13,200.
Aero Lanka and Expo Air are the two domestic airlines flying to northern Sri Lanka.
According to an official at Aero Lanka, the minimum cost to fly to Jaffna and back was Rs 12,000 before the closure of the A9 highway, the Sunday Leader reported.
Before the escalation of the Tamil ethnic war in 2006, there was a train service running from Colombo to Jaffna but now it only runs half way to Vavuniya from where one has to take a bus to get to the war torn city.
Similarly, the constraints in the goods and freight movement have also rendered the prices of commodities expensive in Jaffna.
On the other hand, the growers of fruit and other items in the Northern city have complained of low prices due to problems of supply to other parts of Sri Lanka.
After a temporary halt due to security reasons, flights between Colombo and Jaffna were resumed in September 2006.