SriLankan Airlines plans to add a stop at Sri Lanka's new Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport on four existing services after the airport begins operations later this month.

The carrier will operate twice weekly Colombo-Mattala-Riyadh and Colombo-Mattala-Bangkok-Beijing services, and a four times weekly Colombo-Mattala-Male service, says its spokesman.

Its Colombo-Bangkok-Shanghai Pudong service, meanwhile, will include a Mattala stop on its return, and will be operated once weekly.

Changes to the four services will commence from 21 March, adds the spokesman.

Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport is located in southeast Sri Lanka, and is scheduled to open for full operations on 18 March.

It will have an initial capacity of 1 million passengers a year. The second stage of its development will begin in 2013, raising its capacity to 6 million by 2018.

An MRO facility at the airport is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2013. The $206 million project is funded by China's Ex-Im Bank.

The airport will also have a 1,000m² (10,800ft²) cargo facility, capable of handling 45,000t annually.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news