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Expolanka supports post-COVID revival of air freight forwarding from Mattala Airport


Aug 21, 2020
  • Leverages longstanding relationships with international carriers to ship exports

Leading integrated global logistics solutions provider, Expolanka Freight (EFL) announced the successful completion of two shipments of general and perishable goods out of Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) utilising converted incoming passenger repatriation flights last week. 

Given the company’s role as the first to move cargo out of MRIA in 2013 and first to start operating during the pandemic, EFL worked in alignment with national objectives to help secure a rapid post-COVID economic resurgence.

In the past month, EFL shipped 25 tons of general cargo from Colombo to Dubai to markets in the United States and European Union utilising an Emirates repatriation flight on 9 August. 

Similarly, the company also facilitated the shipment of a further four tons of perishable fruits and vegetables supplied by YAS Lanka Ltd. to Oman on 16 August via Salaam Air. Notably, domestic road freight between Mattala and BIA was facilitated using EFL’s network of specialised operators for perishable goods and standard fleet for general cargo.

“EFL is proud to have been the first and only logistics specialist with the requisite agility, advanced expertise and global network necessary to step up and directly support the Government’s efforts to revitalise cargo operations out of MRIA. These operations send an important signal to markets globally, namely: that despite all challenges, Sri Lanka is opening up for exports.

“In achieving this important milestone, we are extremely grateful to the support provided by airport authorities and Customs officials, as well as our international partners for working with speed and agility to ensure we keep the Sri Lankan economy moving efficiently, while ensuring the safe repatriation of our fellow citizens,” EFL Managing Director Saif Yusoof stated. 

He further noted that the scaling up of cargo operations at MRIA would have major positive implications for the country’s agriculture sector and related industries, given that the Mattala Airport was situated in close proximity to a major Agriculture Processing Zone, thus providing easy access to global markets for local producers of fruits, vegetables and dairy products.

General activity at the MRIA following the outbreak of COVID-19 has been sharply on the rise with over 50 flights involving 2,188 passengers having touched down at the airport in June and July 2020 alone – primarily for the purposes of repatriation and international ship crew changes.

EFL (Expolanka Freight) is a leading provider of supply chain solutions and is ranked among the top 30 airfreight forwarders in the world. Founded in 1982, EFL is headquartered in Sri Lanka and recognized as an expert in fashion and tech logistics and in recent times has partnered with leading airlines to provide weekly direct charters to the USA. 

EFL is a member of Expolanka PLC – a leading conglomerate with interests in Logistics, Leisure and Investments. The company has thrived on overcoming the challenges of operating in limited logistic infrastructure markets, taking its operations to 23 countries, 60+ offices and over 2,300 staff around the world.

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