Colombo– After a decade, the Turkish Airlines on Monday commenced direct flights between Sri Lanka and Istanbul, said Chairman of the Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka Ltd G. A. Chandrasiri.

Addressing an event to mark the occasion of the Turkish aircraft arriving in Sri Lanka, Chandrasiri said four flights a week will operate between the two countries, Xinhua news agency reported.

From 2024, Turkish Airlines flights will arrive in Sri Lanka all seven days of the week, he said.

He said the number of passengers from Turkey will now increase by 300 per cent.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Tourism and Lands Minister Harin Fernando, also addressing the event, said Sri Lanka plans to attract 2.5 million tourists in 2024.

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, one of Sri Lanka’s leading foreign exchange earners, is aiming to attract 2 million visitors in 2023, compared to the previous target of 1.5 million. (IANS)