Cabinet approval had been granted for converting the national carrier, SriLankan Air Lines, into a private- public partnership by October this year and the government is looking for a business partner for the airline, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced today.
“Cabinet had decided to defuse economic land mines without allowing them to explode and one of those mines is SriLankan Airlines,” the Prime Minister said.
“ If we fail to do something about SriLankan which has incurred huge losses, the airline, the economy and the tourist industry will come down,” he told a media briefing, stating that the total expenditure of SriLankan Airlines have been US $ 3.5 billion while the total debt of the carrier is US $ 3.2 billion as of today. He said this is a huge burden which cannot be borne by the people.
The Prime Minister said the Cabinet had also decided to cancel the order which was made for four air crafts including the presidential suite. “We have informed the manufacturing company to halt the production of these aircrafts,” he said.
While stating that the change would come by October this year, the Prime Minister said a total sum of US$ 202 million is needed to re-vamp both SriLankan and Mihin Air.
Further he said a new Bill will be introduced to Parliament, giving the House the power to control the entity.
Special Projects Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama who elaborated on the plans with regard to SriLankan Airlines said the ideal arrangement will be to convert the national carrier into a public-private partnership having a 60 percent stake with the government and 40 percent with the private sector. “Emirates were given 40 percent stake of the carrier in 1999 while the government owned 60 percent, but unfortunately the last government took over the 40 percent stake,” he said. Also it was assured that the logo of the airline will not be changed.
Responding to a question raised by journalists on Mihin Air, the Prime Minister said the government will deal with both airlines together, but he fell short of stating clearly, as to what would become of Mihin Lanka.
Video by Danushka
Comments - 21
CitizenPerera Wednesday, 27 April 2016 12:11 AM
Who is the crazy business associate that will partner to do business in the Banana Republic's airline with a management of retards?
sudda Friday, 29 April 2016 03:13 AM
Please don't sell to a competitor Airline. Suggest non competitor fares as Virgin Airlines. Since they don't fly to Srilanka up will be a great opportunity.
Burt Wednesday, 27 April 2016 04:36 AM
The economic dev min might even decide to become the investor. He's got money to throw.
Lanka Watch Wednesday, 27 April 2016 05:30 AM
Combine assets and staff of both airlines and take thebest out of it and run one airline with limited staff stregth
Samson Silva Wednesday, 27 April 2016 05:35 AM
Why cannot this Govt bring the ex Chairman to court and recover the losses by selling his private assessts?
lalu Tuesday, 26 April 2016 01:27 PM
Once bitten twice shy. Doubt of any seekers. via DM Android App
spirit Tuesday, 26 April 2016 01:48 PM
Please seek advice from former Economic Development minister as well...
Dee Tuesday, 26 April 2016 02:02 PM
Some good news after a very long time.
Aba Jayasekera Tuesday, 26 April 2016 02:13 PM
This should have been done long ago. But better late than never !
Zayeem Tuesday, 26 April 2016 02:22 PM
Emirates Brought the Air Lanka in 1998 for 10 years agreement when it goes lost and Emirates changed name to Sri Lankan Airlines. Now again going Loss and seeking partner like Emirates. Please defunct the Mihin Lanka. We don't need Budget Airline for Tiny Island.
MP for Ja-ela Tuesday, 26 April 2016 02:31 PM
Srilankan airlines do not need business associates but a good re-organization in every sector; starting from top managerial staff. Cut salary and limit wastes. Promote and link both international airports and strengthen local airports. Of course other transport ways must be improved and modernized (bus and train service). Long term plus short term visions must be looked for present and future.
Emir Tuesday, 26 April 2016 02:41 PM
Sir, is it possible to bring back the Emirates management? Because it is one of the leading successful Airlines which has 75 A380 aircraft in its fleet. Tremendous success.
Airliner Tuesday, 26 April 2016 02:50 PM
As UL ex staff. Good move at last. Hopefully Qatar Airways will take over to make some profitable Airline.
BuffaloaCitizen Tuesday, 26 April 2016 03:14 PM
When the buffoon comes to power again, he will chase the business associate and make this his family travel service, even taking Weerawansa's wife Shashi on official trips.
rw Tuesday, 26 April 2016 03:17 PM
Sold! via DM Android App
Prem Nath Tuesday, 26 April 2016 03:25 PM
Please don't turn towards the Middle East for this. Once bitten, twice shy.
Sanjaya Tuesday, 26 April 2016 03:49 PM
How about China? China Eastern Airlines
Ander Tuesday, 26 April 2016 04:12 PM
Buffalo Citizen, Please don't even dream of the return of the Buffoon. He should be sentenced to hang by his family jewels for the rest of his life. Dirty Bastard!
T Tuesday, 26 April 2016 09:51 PM
Rajapaksa's used it as it was their own , What do u expect ?
Amir Friday, 29 April 2016 12:41 AM
Why can't Ranil ask Mahinda to manage the airline. Mahinda nowadays says that Ranil cannot run the country. If Mahinda can run the airline smoothly then we can hand over the country to him.
Jagath Tuesday, 26 April 2016 11:29 PM
I'm ready to be Business partner,Pls contact me
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