Amid speculations of closure and employees writing to Chairman Ajith Dias that they did not have confidence in him as well as the top management of the ailing national carrier SriLankan Airlines, a leading Malaysian company has come forward with an investment proposal to revive the national airlines, Daily Mirror learns.
The significance of the investment proposal of Super Group Holdings Pvt. Ltd. of Malaysia is its consent to reactivate the now defunct regional airline of the country, Mihin Air.
An authoritative source told Daily Mirror on condition of anonymity that Super Group Holdings had suggested to run SriLankan as a low-cost carrier with available resources within the airline and is keen on substantial investment. The proposal had already been forwarded for review to the Economic Committee chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
“The proposals also include operating SriLankan Airlines as an international as well as regional low-cost carrier and Mihin Lanka as a regional and domestic carrier utilising the entire network now in use. All domestic airports such as Ratmalana, Palali in Jaffna, Trincomalee, Koggala and Anuradhapura will be refurbished and upgraded under the proposed programme in addition to international airports of Bandaranaike and Mattala International Airports. It is quite possible that Mihin Lanka will be re-branded and used as a low-cost carrier to cater to the South Asian region and the Indian Sub Continent in a concept of ‘City-to-City’ project,” he said.
The certificate already issued to Mihin Lanka by the International Civil Airlines Organisation (ICAO) will be used for the new project.
The investors are glad that the Cabinet has decided to absorb the debts of Mihin Air (on November 5, 2017) and that is why they have consented to restore Mihin Lanka that had been facing liquidation while ceasing operations in October.
Super Group Holdings is a multi-national company involved in tourism, hotel management and airlines based in Kuala Lumpur.
The source added that however, the discussions are continuing with several other investors and airlines to run SriLankan Airlines as a Public Private Partnership (PPP). (Sandun A. Jayasekera)