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Flights to Hambantota International Airport

The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, also known as the Hambantota International Airport, is the secondary international airport of Sri Lanka after the Bandaranaike International Airport. It serves the city of Hambantota in Mattala, down the south of the island-country of Sri Lanka. It was constructed to expand and support the local aviation industry, in turn creating revenue through international trade, tourism, vocational training, and employment. The airport is designed to facilitate over 800 foreign passengers at peak hours every day, along with several local passengers inside the buildings. Now on the final stages of its renovation and completion, the airport is set to have a new aerodrome, a new terminal building, and other amenities, to support the old structure and to further utilize the area. Two taxiways will also add up to the solo runway, while other features such as separate international and domestic passenger terminals, cargo terminals, warehouses, as well as water taxiways compatible for seaplane and amphibious operations, and facilities for pilot training and others, are also planned. Currently, airlines that fly in and out of the airport are Cinanmon Air (chartered flights to Colombo), FitsAir (chartered flights to Colombo), flyDubai (regular flights to Dubai), Helitours, Mihin Lanka, Rotana Jet (regular flights to Abu Dhabi), and Sri Lankan Airlines, the flag carrier of Sri Lanka.

The airport is housed in the town of Hambantota, in the southern province of Sri Lanka. The town is a small seaside county, yet a visited tourist destination due to its fresh feel and the various National Parks situated in its vicinity. Aside from the beaches, the sun, and the water sports, tourists may visit the following sites to complete their Sri Lankan excursion.

Bundala National Park – An internationally important wintering ground for migratory birds, the Bundala National Park is one of the four biosphere reserves in Sri Lanka, harboring 197 species of birds, highlighted by the Greater Flamingo. Bundala, as it is loosely called, was a designated wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and was delegated and escalated to a national park in 1993. Sundala was also the first national park and wetland to be declared as a Ramsar site in Sri Lanka. Travelers who would opt to visit the area are advised to bring their binoculars and photograph the sunset in the surrounding waters of this National Park. Photographing of the animals are allowed but should be practiced with precaution so as not to disturb the animals' serene environment.

Yala National Park – Situated in the Southern and Uva Provinces near the city of Hambantota, the Yala National Park is the most visited and the second largest National Park in Sri Lanka. Housing the Ruhuna National Park and the Kumana National Park or Yala East, along with three other blocks, this ancient beauty has been the home of two civilizations, even containing two important pilgrim sites named the Sithulpahuwa and the Magul Vihara. It also has one of the highest leopard densities in the world, and a beautiful beach on the side. Visitors are only allowed in two out of five sections of the park, but then again a section is already full of sights and sites and will take almost a day and a half to cover.

Kumana National Park – Another bird sanctuary, the Kumana National Park in Hambantota has seen large flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds, along with rare species of flora and fauna. Cocooned by the bigger Yala National Park, “Yala East” has been visited by tourists simply to enjoy the gifts that the Creator has given us. Sightings of the Golden Jackal, as well as the Fishing Cat, and Sri Lankan Elephants can be enjoyed in the area. Sometimes, Eurasian Spoonbills visit the coasts as migratory birds.

Safari Park – The Safari Park of Hambantota was opened last April as a leisure and nature park – the first of its kind in Sri Lanka. It features six zones, four of which reserved for carnivorous animals, while two covers herbivorous animals. It also contains a public entertainment zone and an interactive safari, where people can see the animals first hand.

Hambantota is currently in the process of developing its resources and structures as they are a candidate city for the 2018 Commonwealth Games although as of the latest update, the sponsorship was snagged by Gold Coast City in Queensland, Australia.

How to get around within Hambantota

The main mode of transportation in Hambantota is private vehicles. A2 highway connects Colombo with Hambantota through the Galle and Matara towns. Meanwhile, a proposed railway project named as the Matara-Kataragama Railway Line is under construction and will be functional to take locals and tourists around the vicinity and the surrounding cities, reaching as far as Colombo and other parts of Sri Lanka.

How to get to Hambantota

The main airport serving Hambantota is the Hambantota International Airport, also known as the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport. The airport serves the immediate town of Hambantota, sometimes becoming a support airport for Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport. Cheap flights to and from Hambantota can be booked using Skyscanner. Skyscanner is an online source of the cheapest flights offered by over 600 air travel providers across the globe. 

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