Budget carrier flydubai has suspended flights to Sri Lanka due to political and economic unrest in the South Asian country.

The airline said it would refund those passengers who had booked their tickets.

“Flydubai flights between Dubai and Colombo Airport (CMB) have been suspended from July 10 until further notice. We will continue to closely monitor the situation on the ground in Sri Lanka,” a flydubai spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.

Sri Lanka is a popular tourist destination and local airlines carry a good number of passengers between Dubai and Colombo. The budget carrier flydubai had cited Colombo as one of its popular destinations in April and saw an increase in demand for flights.

But the severe political and economic crisis is forcing UAE and other airlines to suspend Sri Lanka flights amidst fuel and food shortages in the country. Sri Lanka has been in turmoil as it barely has any dollars left to import fuel and food. Sri Lankans blame the government for massive corruption and nepotism that led the country to economic collapse.

Following massive protests, the South Asian country’s leaders were forced to flee from their official residences.

Flydubai spokesperson said in a statement that passengers who have booked to travel on these flights will be contacted and offered a refund. “We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our passengers’ travel schedules,” said the statement.

The Dubai-based airline last month said it is preparing for a record-breaking summer amidst a surge in demand for travel after the Covid-19 pandemic. It expects to carry three million passengers over the busiest summer in the airline’s history. It projected an average of 8,500 departures per month are scheduled across flydubai’s network of 102 destinations, which exceeds pre-pandemic levels.