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Sri Lanka Hopes India Will Take Stake in Airport With No Flights

  • Offer to India follows China’s purchase of Hambantota’s port
  • Prime Minister anticipates empty airport will attract flights
A Buddist statue of Guan Yin stands in an empty hall at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport.
A Buddist statue of Guan Yin stands in an empty hall at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport.Photographer: Atul Loke/Bloomberg

Sri Lanka has already sold China a port that gets almost no ships. The island nation now wants India to take control of an airport with no scheduled flights.

The nation first tried to offer China the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in the southern district of Hambantota, but is now in talks with India, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Sri Lanka’s parliament on Thursday. The move follows the $1.1 billion sale of the loss-making port in Hambantota to state-owned China Merchants Group.