Cash strapped SriLankan Airlines appoints new Chief Commercial Officer

Cash strapped SriLankan Airlines, the National Carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of the prestigious oneworld alliance, has appointed Joshua Bustos as its Chief Commercial Officer and Shaminda Samaraweera as its Chief Financial Officer with effect from April this year.

Concerns had been raised earlier over moves to appoint Bustos to the post.

SriLankan Airlines said that Bustos is an internationally experienced senior level airline executive with over 20 years of experience.

He has held several key positions in leading organizations including American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, South African Airways, Tiger Airways, Sabre Airline Solutions, Safi Airways, and KPMG. He was on the network sounding board and revenue management advisory board at Star Alliance during his tenure at South African Airways.

SriLankan Airlines said that Bustos has been selected to the position following a much-sought after interview which included both Sri Lankan and foreign nationals.

Chief Financial Officer, Samaraweera holds more than 15 years of senior level corporate experience in many industries including telecommunications, banking and navigation. He has held key positions in leading corporate entities such as Etisalat Lanka (pvt) Ltd., Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC, Dialog Axiata PLC, and NAVTEQ North America.

He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Moratuwa and several Masters’ from North Dakota State University. He is a member of the Chartered Global Management Account (USA) and a fellow of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK).

“The Airline follows a stringent procedure for recruitment which not only takes into consideration the individual’s qualifications but also his/her track record and conduct. Specially when it comes to recruiting foreign nationals, necessary clearance from respective foreign authorities are obtained prior to appointment,” SriLankan Airlines said.

SriLankan Airlines said that it is pleased to have Bustos and Samaraweera in its management team and is confident that their expertise and leadership will be vital to make the National Carrier a financially viable business in the years to come.


  1. Good news. Political interference and appointments, corruption etc are partly responsible for the state of affairs with both Sri Lankan and short lived Mihin Lanka. Unless there is a sea change, the new appointees – no matter how qualified and experienced they are, may not be able to steer the Airline to profitability. It is like swapping pillows when you have a bad headache !


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