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SriLankan may lease four planes to Pakistan

21 July 2016 08:20 pm - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Sri Lanka's cash-strapped national airline is in talks to lease four of its Airbus A330 planes to Pakistan International Airlines Corp, months after cancelling an order for four Airbus A350 aircraft, a minister said on Thursday.

State-owned SriLankan is aiming to reduce its debt and also looking for an international partner to help reverse years of losses.

"A team from the airline is in Pakistan for negotiations. We will lease one A330, latest next month, on wet lease," Public Enterprise Development Minister Kabir Hashim said. A wet lease refers to when one airline provides an aircraft, crew and maintenance to another.

According to Reuters, Hashim had also said SriLankan would lease three more A330s "in the next few months", but did not discuss the type of lease.

The airline, which has taken on seven Airbus A330-300s since 2012, has debts of around $3.25 billion.

Hashim said the airline paid around $450,000 dollars a month to lease each A330 and was looking to lease the aircraft to the Pakistani carrier "even at a break even" level.

The aircraft to be leased were used on loss-making routes to cities such as Frankfort, Paris, and Rome, which SriLankan has decided to cancel, he said.

SriLankan ordered eight A350s from Airbus in 2014. It has cancelled four and already divested one of the others.

Hashim said it was in talks with parties including an Iranian airline to divest the remaining A350s.

SriLankan was a profitable venture with Dubai-based Emirates Airline until the pair split in 2008.

It last made a profit in 2009, and since then has incurred losses of $993 million through 2015, the minister said.

  Comments - 14

  • macho buwa Friday, 22 July 2016 03:39 AM

    ජාති ආලේ attitude is not always good for the country. Sri Lankan Airline maintained good strands and most of Indians skip Indian Airline to travel by " Sri Lankan Air". This is a good example if someone wants to bring down the country , the ideal "ගුණ්ඩුව " is "ජාති ආලේ". Today Quantas " Australian based" is jointly operating with " Emirates".

    Joe rajah Friday, 22 July 2016 04:51 AM

    It is on dissaray thanks to MR bandits

    Sincere Friday, 22 July 2016 08:36 AM

    Requiem for once South Asia's best airline? A national asset has been utterly destroyed by politicians!

    sacre blieu Friday, 22 July 2016 08:46 AM

    When signing the contract , the devil will be in the details. We may end up having to pay them and losing the planes.

    Saman Friday, 22 July 2016 09:34 AM

    Why Pakistan?

    kk Friday, 22 July 2016 10:25 AM


    Rambo Friday, 22 July 2016 10:30 AM

    Macho! ultimately ජාති ආලේ helps to settle the SriLanka Airline debts.

    Kingsley Wijesinhe Friday, 22 July 2016 10:35 AM

    It is absolutely false that Paris and Frankfurt are loss making routes. They make a small profit, while London, the route they wish to keep, has been losing heavily for years. For some strange reason, SL Airlines wants to shut down profitable routes and retain a loss making one.

    Sincere Friday, 22 July 2016 11:00 AM

    Please appoint able Board of Directors comprising of several Nataamies from Colombo Pettah. They will certainly do a better job to salvage it!

    BuffaloaCitizen Friday, 22 July 2016 11:06 AM


    Sapu Friday, 22 July 2016 11:17 AM

    Wet lease not sale

    Arnoldo Friday, 22 July 2016 11:52 AM

    Who else will take the badly maintained aircraft besides Pakistan and may be Somalia.

    wonderful Friday, 22 July 2016 12:04 PM

    absolutely. BOD only concerned about their perks.

    True Friday, 22 July 2016 12:06 PM

    Yes the code sharing agreement.

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