Spark Air (Hambantota) has applied to the Sri Lankan government for an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) and an Operator's Licence (OL) amid plans to launch flights next year.

In its application lodged with the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka on September 8, the start-up said it would target scheduled and chartered international flight operations ferrying passengers, cargo, and mail. Its directors are listed as:

  • Robert L. Spittel;
  • Mohamed Ramzi Raheem (Accountable Manager);
  • Samin Attanayake;
  • Ashan De Alwis;
  • Suranjan De Silva.

In an interview with the Sunday Observer newspaper, Spark Air's Head of Safety Management Systems, Uditha Danwatte, said the carrier will initially focus on cargo operations before branching into the passenger niche. As such, it will shortly conclude dry-lease agreements with unspecified lessors covering two A330s.

“Initially, we will stick to air cargo transportation and then move on to passenger transportation due to the current global situation to destinations [such as] the USA, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Far East with two A330s," he said. “We will build hangers and launch a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) project at Hambantota International Airport."

Spark Air expects to complete its certification drive and launch in February next year. It is reportedly backed by "local and foreign investments".

Earlier this month, another start-up, Fly Lankan Asia (Colombo Int'l), announced its own plans to operate both domestic and international scheduled flights, again covering both passenger and cargo traffic.

In an interview with Smart Aviation APAC, the CAASL's director (flight operations), Lushan Fernando, said Fly Lankan Asia was looking to use BAe 146-300s for commercial passenger operations and B737-200s for cargo operations.

From its hub at Colombo Int'l, it is looking to serve Jeddah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia; Medan Kuala Namu, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta, Semarang, Surabaya, and Makassar in Indonesia; and Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur Int'l in Malaysia. He did not specify any domestic routes.

“The AOC process will take six months from the formal application phase, and COVID-19 will [have a delaying effect] on aircraft acceptance and proving flight requirements,” Fernando said.