SriLankan Airlines yesterday issued a statement clarifying certain facts with regard to a social media post made by one of its passengers on a flight from Melbourne to Colombo on May 23.
“SriLankan Airlines wishes to clarify and place on record certain facts with regard to a social media post that is currently being circulated on all mainstream social media; made by a SriLankan Airlines’ passenger on UL 605 from Melbourne to Colombo, operated on the 23rd of May 2019. The said passenger has boarded UL 605 in Melbourne on 23rd of May 2019, and well into the flight had shown unsettled behaviour depicting extreme stress. Further, the said passenger had been instigating conversation with other passengers onboard on a religious nature. Despite the crew engaging with the passenger during the meal service and during the flight to ascertain the reason for his unusual behaviour, his demeanour and conduct had not improved.
The crew had found this worrying to the rest of the passengers onboard as well. As per standard crew procedures across all airlines globally, it is the duty of the operating crew to notify incidents of this nature to the airport authorities at the arrival destination. The said passenger was questioned upon his arrival by the airport authorities and security personnel on ground and on questioning the passenger, was allowed to leave the airport after his statement was recorded. Fulfilling the security formalities, the crew members of the flight also underwent the same procedures.
Owing to the recent terrorist incidents that took place in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, 21st April 2019, SriLankan Airlines has taken all necessary steps to enhance the safety of all its passengers and crew onboard. UL 605 operating out of Melbourne carried 231 passengers out of which five were of Islamic faith and 12 crew onboard. As such, the airline wishes to reiterate that it does not differentiate passengers based on faith, caste, creed or ethnicity - proof of which is that none of the other passengers onboard UL 605 complained of an unpleasant flying experience.
SriLankan reiterates that the safety of all of its passengers onboard is its highest priority and that the crew is bound to follow the international standards of security and operational procedures to ensure that passenger wellbeing is safeguarded at all times.
SriLankan Airlines wishes to place on record that, as a corporate entity with a history of 40 years, it has always consisted staff members belonging to all faiths and ethnicities both in Sri Lanka and across the globe, and this has inspired the airline to work towards the common goal of taking Sri Lanka to the world,” the statement issued by the Corporate Communications Division of the SriLankan Airlines said.