Sri Lanka’s first privately owned airline, Peace Air plans to launch operations on 04 February 2019, according to chairman Gamini Wethasinghe. The airline is backed by US$2 billion from US and Chinese investors.

The first routes are to China, namely Wuhan, Xi, An Urumqi, Chongqing and Hardin -- all to be daily direct flights. From March 2019, the carrier plans to expand to Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, targeting religious passengers.

The airline will initially fly a new B787-8 to China and later a B787-10, with both aircraft already on order with Boeing, according to the airline. The acquisition of a further eight aircraft is also being planned.

Peace Air is also attempting the purchase of SriLankan Airlines for US$5.5 billion, and has reached a framework agreement with Lufthansa Consulting to conduct a due diligence in the national carrier.