Government to look for partner to invest in Srilankan Airlines

SrilankanPrime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today said that the Government would seek an international partner who could manage and invest in the country’s state owned national airline carrier after the airline recorded a massive debt of 3.25 billion U.S. dollars, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Speaking to reporters, Wickremesinghe said that Srilankan Airlines was a ‘landmine’ for the country’s economy with its high debts and the government would take over part of its debts in order to seek for an international partner or investor.

He further said that cabinet approval had also been granted to search for a partner for the national airline carrier.

The Government has already allocated 201 million U.S. dollars to run the airline up to October and would in the meantime call for proposals to search for an investor.

“The airline cannot continue like this and as a government we can only pay part of the debts. If we do not, the airline will collapse and the economy will also collapse. This is not a small figure,” he said.
The prime minister further said that he ordered the national carrier to cancel four Airbus aircraft it has already ordered, which he said had still not started manufacture.

“We have ordered four aircraft but we have to see how we can dispose off them. They have not started manufacturing the airbus yet so we have informed them we are not going ahead with it.”

Wickremesinghe, soon after being sworn to power last year in a parliamentary election, ordered a criminal investigation into alleged corruption at the national airline during the previous regime, saying that it involved ‘billions of dollars’.

Meanwhile speaking on the present state of the island’s slow paced economy, Wickremesinghe said his government was attempting to turn it around and expressed confidence of gaining international investments.

He also vowed to adjust the country’s finances in order to repay the country’s debts which he said had mounted during the previous government. (Colombo Gazette)

5 COMMENTS

  1. Customized A350 aircraft for SRILANKAN already under manufacturing process and the airline have already sent their staff for training in France.

    Decision to cancel the orders will cost a lot.

    If find a new partner to run the company they may introduce new long haul routes to make money and may need this type of equipment.

    Best option is to wait till a partner to come and take the decision of cancelling the orders.

  2. Ranil is not a savior either, he promised to increase the government employees’ salary to win the election. He still increased the salary after seeing the current financial situation of the country. No matter who wins the election, only fools continue to run the countries in South Asia, because the West is too good and got all the talented South Asians. Few of us return to do something good, but the fools don’t see our skills and talents. That is why I call South Asia “A white man’s playground.”

  3. Current Government has no control on decisions taken on Sri Lanka. These are orders from the ‘West’ and everything is aimed at destabilising Sri Lanka.

  4. Why loss? Kingfisher in India? Is it the Global Industry trend? Is it the political Management? What was the previous regime’s Corporate Plan for Air Lanka. Did Bank of Ceylon lend on directions or on cash flow basis?

  5. Long ago Singapore Airlines wanted to guide them, but Lankans said no thanks. Then Emirates came to rescue, but didn’t take the opportunity either, because wasn’t smart enough to understand Lankans needed help. Ranil is not smart, he can’t do any better. Privatization is the only option to let the smart people to takeover from other country.

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