Sri Lankan international cargo and domestic passenger charter airline FitsAir has moved into scheduled operations by launching a regular passenger service from Colombo to Batticaloa.

The twice-weekly scheduled service using Cessna Caravans between Colombo’s Ratmalana Airport and Batticaloa, on the east coast, is the airline’s first scheduled passenger service.

FitsAir launched the scheduled service because Batticaloa is increasingly popular with tourists, says FitsAir business development executive, Musaab Kassim. He says the scheduled service is a natural step forward from the airline’s existing charter business.

The airline has also started flying an ATR 72-200 quick change variant (QC) for its international cargo business, Musaab says, adding that the turboprop was chosen for its ability to reach south India and the Maldives. Depending on the market performance, the airline will decide whether it wants to add extra ATR aircraft in the coming months, he says.

The ATR freighter was added as the airline stopped flying its older McDonnell Douglas MD-82 and Douglas DC-8. FitsAir flies about 300-500 tonnes of freight a month, Musaab says.

He also says FitsAir is looking to expand its light turboprop fleet. It already operates to two Cessna Caravans, used mostly for domestic charter and cargo operations.