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SriLankan Airlines faces permanent grounding?

26 February 2024 05:21 pm - 98     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Colombo, Feb 26 (Daily Mirror) - Restructuring of the national carrier SriLankan Airlines is in tatters after Sunday’s ground handling debacle, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva said today.

“Deadline given to potential investors for submitting expressions to partner the national carrier ends on March 5. The information we have received as of now is that all those who have already expressed interest are planning to withdraw after the Sunday’s flight delay. We will have no option but to ground SriLankan airlines for good in  this situation,” the Minister told a discussion which was open to the media as well.

Representatives of SriLankan Airlines and its Chairman Ashok Pathirage told the discussion that four flights were delayed on Sunday – with rats being found in two aircrafts while two others had technical issues. 
“We had to spray a chemical to the two aircraft in which rats were found and ground them for one day as per the international standards,” Mr. Pathirage said.

It was also revealed that absence of 15 ground handling staff also caused the delay. 

Three members of staff have applied for leave on Sunday while the remaining 12 have kept away from work casually. 

“Sack those who kept away from work without applying for leave,” the angry minister said.

  Comments - 98

  • A nizam Monday, 26 February 2024 05:37 PM

    Sack them all and let a foreign investor take over. Get emirates or Qatar!!!

    We are a suvabasha group, good for nothing. Monday, 26 February 2024 09:26 PM

    We don't MANAGE but STEAL. How many Airlines since "AIR CEYLON." Look at Singapore Air Lines, Emirates. British Airways etc.

    Mandayan Tuesday, 27 February 2024 01:15 AM

    And then if and when Rajapakses come to power, they chase thff er m and and appoint an experienced family member to bring it down, right?

    Sam Tuesday, 27 February 2024 01:54 AM

    With our Corruption Record, Political Interference and most Employees with Political connections, the only countries that would be interested are Seychelles, and some African countries with similar records !

    raj soma Tuesday, 27 February 2024 02:16 AM

    We had Emirates running the Airline and started showing Profit ...Then President wanted 1/2 the Plane seats for his entourage from London To Colombo and had an Issue .Finally they got read Emirates contract.. Since then , they skimmed the carrier again and now going to be Kotta Udda...

    M Fernando Tuesday, 27 February 2024 06:52 AM

    Yes, yes., sure. They are all lining up to take over this failure of an airline.

    DJ Tuesday, 27 February 2024 08:49 AM

    Absolutely. The whole bunch should be sent home. Start a new airline, Swissair and Alitalia did it being big airlines.

    Harsha Wijewardene Monday, 26 February 2024 05:38 PM

    Corrupt chairman and corrupt minister are destroying the airline.

    ben Perera Thursday, 29 February 2024 10:22 PM

    all the political appointees should be imprisoned

    Kabir Hashim Monday, 26 February 2024 05:38 PM

    Worst airline ever, full of politicians stooges mostly lazy and rude.

    Kishu Gomes Monday, 26 February 2024 05:40 PM

    Black hole sucking up the public funds, what a waste of our taxes.

    Kumara Choksanada Monday, 26 February 2024 05:42 PM

    How to become a millionaire? Find a billionaire and convince him to take over Srilankan airlines.

    Sam Silva Monday, 26 February 2024 09:36 PM

    To become a millionaire, you need to be smart . How are you going to find a billionaire and convince him to take over some junk aircrafts and indebted to your eye browse.

    Cecil Hedwige Monday, 26 February 2024 05:43 PM

    Its better to wind up operation than to bleed peoples hard earned money on SL airlines.

    Hadam Monday, 26 February 2024 05:47 PM

    It's better to keep grounded. I travel a lot to Europe and never get into Sri Lankan Airlines though it serves as a direct route to cities like London. I simply don't trust the safety checks carried out by the ground staff. My fellow countrymen are very good at cutting corners but this is one area you avoid cutting corners.

    Ranga Monday, 26 February 2024 05:50 PM

    Finally they have come to the realisation lol

    JOHN FRAZER Monday, 26 February 2024 05:59 PM


    Ravi Tuesday, 27 February 2024 02:29 AM


    Nishantq Tuesday, 27 February 2024 04:14 PM

    Agreed The Sri Lankan people are collectively responsible for the current sad state of affairs in Sri Lanka We hv allowed China to further look our country by making us indebted to them and selling our crown jewels for 99 yr leases. Many African, S American and some SE Asian countries are caught in the DEBT TRAP

    sam Monday, 26 February 2024 06:02 PM

    Inefficiency at its highest

    Nishanta Tuesday, 27 February 2024 04:09 PM

    Ground all ministers, first. Disgraceful that corrupt leaders are still living off the majority of decent hardworking Sri Lankans - in and outside Sri Lanka.

    zak Monday, 26 February 2024 06:06 PM

    please ground this permanently and save our tax money

    Karalasingam Sivalingam Monday, 26 February 2024 06:11 PM

    Invite Adani Group of India to handle all SriLankan Airline operations on an emergency basis.

    Raj Mohan Tuesday, 27 February 2024 02:18 AM

    How can you suggest Tata or Adani to take over this 'Golden Goose'? It is obvious that no decent successful airline wants a bar of this enterprise. Hence, no tender has been submitted for take over.

    Selvaratnam Monday, 26 February 2024 06:12 PM

    Give the airlines to proper Jaffna Tamils, they will run the airlines very successfully . What’s lacking is “brainpower”.

    Tissa Fernando Monday, 26 February 2024 09:38 PM

    But those guys destroyed several air crafts sometime back. Remember the Air Port attack. We cannot trust them.

    Ameenudeen Tuesday, 27 February 2024 06:22 AM

    Super idea From top to bottom; politically and institutionally corrupt Give to Srilankan living abroad They will do a genuine job

    Brain power Tuesday, 27 February 2024 06:24 AM

    You mean brain power like VP? Who lost his game. LOL.

    Pushpa Tuesday, 05 March 2024 05:37 AM

    Well said

    Sam Silva Monday, 26 February 2024 06:30 PM

    It's getting better and better each day for the airlines. We never learn. We are loosing the little income we receive.

    civil Monday, 26 February 2024 06:42 PM

    What tamasha. This is the circus..... not a single person in that room pays tax as per the private sector. Yet they joke about rats!!! No investors will even put their hands into such debt ridden, highly politicised entity. Keep the pride flying on empty flights soon.

    Athk69 Monday, 26 February 2024 06:45 PM

    Rats can eat the wiring in the aircraft, causing component failure. Just by spraying chemicals and grounding the aircraft for a day, isn't reassuring at all.

    ROSH Monday, 26 February 2024 06:46 PM

    Please don’t put statements or interview with bullying minister. This idiot needs to stay at home let young generation to take care of my country. Bully old bully boy got no idea how to speak or how to be professional. He needs to be educated

    Dilky perera Tuesday, 27 February 2024 01:18 AM

    Totally agree. Must ask this idiot what’s happening to the 160 stewardesses they just hired - without pimples. It shows how stupid they are and their priorities. Lol

    Dan Monday, 26 February 2024 06:52 PM

    Who would want to buy an airline when even most Sri Lankans living overseas refuse to travel in it due to safety reasons. Last week's debacle is a mere excuse.

    Farieze Monday, 26 February 2024 06:53 PM

    Change Gota appointed chairman, select an efficient person

    Ashok Monday, 26 February 2024 06:55 PM

    Sack the minister and the Chairman--- An angry taxpayer!!!!@

    Village Biy Tuesday, 27 February 2024 09:08 AM

    Including the Board

    sam Monday, 26 February 2024 07:19 PM

    With a high literacy rate in SL the literate cannot manage anything

    Dan Tuesday, 27 February 2024 03:30 AM


    Quite far Tuesday, 27 February 2024 06:31 AM

    Sam, literacy means the ability to read and wright, in a particular language. It's quite far from intellect, wisdom and IQ without which managing, let alone progressing is impossible.

    M Fernando Tuesday, 27 February 2024 07:02 AM

    Well, It means we can read... that's about it. We cannot think. We will vote for whoever gives us 1/2 Bottle of Arrack, Buth-Packet and transport to voting site "High Literacy Rate" Does Not Equal "Intelligence".

    Uncle Paradise Monday, 26 February 2024 07:19 PM

    Says the minister who is always seen falling asleep. It's strange that serious international investors would back off over a one-time delay. Rather, it probably exposed hidden risks of the airline that were not originally divulged.

    VJ Monday, 26 February 2024 07:31 PM

    If you read between the lines, the message is clear. We cannot sustain SriLankan, we will have to sell it or lease it before a major disaster strikes.

    Jayantha Monday, 26 February 2024 07:47 PM

    Sell this piece of crap for anyone who is willing t buy it. Even if it is at a massive loss. Never ever elect fools like MR again. It was this crook who took over it from Emirates when the latter was smoothly running it. MR is nicely still enjoy after messing up the economy.

    Nadaal Mohd Tuesday, 27 February 2024 12:10 AM

    You said it. What a treacherous act? Destroyed that smooth operation by Emirates.

    Daya Monday, 26 February 2024 07:48 PM

    Firstly, sack 225 immediately and hold free and fair election. Problems could be solved.

    The story continued Tuesday, 27 February 2024 06:52 AM

    The 225 are a cross-section of the entire population of the country, either corrupt or utter fools. Don't tell me only the politicians are corrupt; Doctors, Lawyers, Judges, Engineers, Accountants, Businessmen, Media, you name it. How many of those who are commenting in these columns agaist corruptions are themselves corrupt. So if you replace the 225, might get another corrupt 225, may be even worse. Through evolution over a period of 76 years corruption has got embedded in to SLn genes. It has become SLn identity. The only way out is, not just for SRILANKAN, but for the entire country to be leased out to a much less corrupt country. But the catch is WHO WILL BELL THE CAT. Got me? Handling the leasing pricess the corrupt gang will lease the country to another corrupt partner. Some are already engaged in activities in SL. In summary the story will continue.

    Sambo Monday, 26 February 2024 07:55 PM

    Why did you walk away from the meeting. You could not face the questions. You should be grounded first and then the airline. Do not disgrace the country as it is already disgraced by you politicans.

    Anura Mahendra Bandara Monday, 26 February 2024 07:57 PM

    There is no need either to privatise or to permanently ground our lovely National Airline. Former President, H.E. J. R. Jayawardena didn't launch Air Lanka leaving room for any such outcomes to occur. The present Chairman, Mr. Ashok Pathirage has now gained adequate experience to give the necessary leadership to bring this lovely airline out of woods. It's just that the Chairman is not having the profound outfit of ultra clever aviation professionals to form the span of control to function efficiently, supporting him. Instead of appointing the ultra clever Sri Lsnkans who are capable of delivering the golden crop, the consecutive governments have been attempting to privatise this lovely airline putting as though that's the only remedy for all the woes, citing that our nationa airline is facing a severe financial crisis, without. attemptng to recover and / or recoup the 'serious loss of capital' caused by many fraudulent acts committed by the past management personnel.

    M Fernando Tuesday, 27 February 2024 06:57 AM

    This "lovely airline" is not "in the woods" any longer. It is "down the toilet" and there are no "ultra-clever" Sri Lankans to bring in any crop. Only a bunch of incompetent yakkos and selfish, cunning and corrupt crooks (with a 2500 year history, of course!) who are ready, willing and able to line their own pockets at the expense of the enterprise. Let it draw it's final breath and give it a decent burial.

    Ultra corrupt people Tuesday, 27 February 2024 06:59 AM

    There are no ultra cleaver SLns in SL. If not the country wouldn't have reached the current predicament. But SL has ultra corrupt people at exceedingly large numbers.

    Kumar Monday, 26 February 2024 08:05 PM

    This shows the commitment of our Sri Lankans. Even the Araglaya had been a show nothing more than that.

    Declare Bankruptcy Monday, 26 February 2024 08:11 PM

    Look the way the minister is talking. Useless

    Privatise the Company with a Brand New Airline Monday, 26 February 2024 08:15 PM

    Close up the airline under bankruptcy

    Balla Donkey Monday, 26 February 2024 09:10 PM

    Another Rajapakse will do the need full to close that air lines too. We should have left with Emirates. (our education.)

    Mahila Monday, 26 February 2024 08:19 PM

    Sack them?? Very Good!! What happens to those WHO fall ASLEEP at the Wheel/Rudder control??? Give Blooming Posterior??? Wakeup???

    K Paramanathan Monday, 26 February 2024 08:32 PM

    First and foremost sack the minister, he is totally unfit to be the Minister of Aviation.

    F. Lahir Tuesday, 27 February 2024 08:31 AM

    Sack all rotten old officials who do not have even the basic education. Any politicians should not be given in charge of airlines. Get professionals not rotten old fossils

    Anil de Silva Monday, 26 February 2024 09:09 PM

    AKD is at work before becoming the President. Best thing is to ban this destructive JVP.

    Namal Monday, 26 February 2024 10:27 PM

    Again AKD. ?? Are you having loose motion..go visit a doctor.

    Ranil Monday, 26 February 2024 11:13 PM

    You are barking on the wrong tree. The thieves are ruining the show.

    Guwan Karaya Monday, 26 February 2024 09:29 PM

    The long standing goal of some disreputable politicians

    Ashan Monday, 26 February 2024 09:59 PM

    The audacity of the thieving minster and the corrupt Rajapaksha lackey CEO, without taking the responsibility asking staff to respond to their own inefficiency, thievery and mismanagement.

    Ex Air Lanka Monday, 26 February 2024 10:17 PM

    What's going well in this country? Airline, public transportation, health sector, education, consumer protection etc are just a few examples. Who's to be blamed except politicians.

    Lalith Siriwardena Monday, 26 February 2024 10:34 PM

    I have travelled with many airlines around the world. Srilankan airline has professional, high end infighting staff. The services offered by them can be matched with Emirates.

    Jeanne Wednesday, 28 February 2024 01:59 AM

    @Lalith: You need to get your head examined. You are either suffering from heat stroke or are delusional or stupid or all three.

    Reza Monday, 26 February 2024 11:01 PM

    MR kicked emirates out of SriLankan for not allocating 1st class Seats for his group. First start there and then hold all accountable including the Present minster and chairman for being unable to turn around the airline.

    Nidi kumbarayaa Monday, 26 February 2024 11:48 PM

    Why can't we scrap UL and not have a national career? Sack all over paid non working staff. Minister must retire 1st, hand it over to someone who doesnt fall asleep during work time.

    pantha kumaran Tuesday, 27 February 2024 12:47 AM

    As a Sri Lankan I am very sad to say that we do not have the right people running the air line. Our minister who is responsible was involved in corruption demanding money from Japan. Mahinda Rajapakes was involved the sacking of Peter Hill and buying Emirates share. The same lot want to come back to power. There is no place for educated people in our country , but enough space to take crooks to our parliament.

    DD Tuesday, 27 February 2024 01:07 AM

    Automate the Checking and boarding etc as lole other I international airport. BARCODE baggage and do self drop.of luggage so it can be automated for bagging handling so no need of these so called people.who are bringing disrepute to the Air Line. May be they have a plan to not let it get privatised so they can ask us the tax payer to fund them. Please appoint a Chairman who knows about Air Line and passenger service. Even the minister better have a person like a seceratry who knows the subject who can discuss and sort matters. Sell all these givt institution to 0rivate investors. From paper corporation to pranthan chemicals, and other so called national.assets like railway SLTB as Givt are not here to do business but to govern a country let's the busienss people run the business. Railway privatised and let the private investor pay for the use of signal tracks and other infrastructure to SLR. SLTB as well let's privatise but let the SLTB hold the title for the depot premises and land

    Adit Tuesday, 27 February 2024 01:16 AM

    Airline staff ,stewards and pilots do a great job with meagre support. Food at one stage was buffet style yellow rice and curries in biz class. Politicians ruined it. How long can staff continue working hard without getting paid

    raj soma Tuesday, 27 February 2024 02:24 AM

    Only way out , some foreign Carrier or investor takes over with conditions with no any Politician fly on it free of charge even the President and no govt interference O%. Going to be difficult with SL track record...If you remember SQ had before too. In my opinion will not be surprised Indian Investors might jump in...Because now its all Indian or Chinese fighting for piece of the Pie...

    Jeanne Tuesday, 27 February 2024 02:38 AM

    Brilliant article, Mr Yohan Perera. And HOORAY!!!! This is the best news ever! And while we ground this moosala airline can we also re-brand it to when it first launched in 1979 to AIR LANKA? Increase salaries for all, make attendance in an English speaking and finishing school mandatory as part of their qualifications and we'll be back to the glory days when people used to LOVE flying AIR LANKA.

    Adana Tuesday, 27 February 2024 02:42 AM

    Game to give to a selected investor, we never heard such incidents in our history. U should employ right people not corrupt politician

    Jundappuge Pagapala Tuesday, 27 February 2024 02:56 AM

    Sack the Pagapala first - Then RW for appointing this pagapala again! Then all parliament for giving all Pin Chances! Going - going - going??? where? May be to look for Myna! All have foreign visas and properties to fly and Kaputa - Moda Miniha keep voting for them!!

    Rishan Tuesday, 27 February 2024 04:42 AM

    I don't understand why sri Lankans cannot make profit and run smoothly. Reasons for the loss 1) poor management How can you send 15 agent staff on leave , where is the duty manager . They don't have any idea about the load and flights 2) cut or reduce staff , check how many staff has Qantas 3) Buy some latest aircrafts at least 5 to start off 4) sign new code sharing contracts with EK , SQ, QF, QR 5) give VRS to those who are over 15 years experience staff and inject young blood 6) reduce the rates to be competitive with other airlines ...

    Nimal Tuesday, 27 February 2024 05:37 AM

    The problem with Sri Lankan airlines is that the majority of its staff are political appointees dating back to its inception as Airlanka. The entire airline needs to be restructured from the ground up to make it a competitive entity.

    Sunil Tuesday, 27 February 2024 02:02 PM

    I don't agree that political appointments dates back to inception. I know a few who made it after thorough screening and zero influence, political or otherwise. That was when Captain Rakitha Wickremanayake from Singapore Airlines was at the helm.

    Ex Air Lanka Wednesday, 28 February 2024 12:36 AM

    You're wrong. I worked for Air Lanka for 5 years. I did not have any political influence to join the company. I had the criteria required for my job. The downturn slowly began between 1986-1987, when the classless president came into power and everyone knows who it was.

    Punchi Tuesday, 27 February 2024 07:23 AM

    Shocking !!! Our supreme foremost buddhist prosperous paradise without an air line. Even our great king Ravana who ruled centuries ago had an airline and aircraft he used to rescue his daughter from a domestic violence situation

    Travis Tuesday, 27 February 2024 07:59 AM

    I stopped flying sri lankan after I face delays and non of these asshole want to fix the problems only taking salary..

    Percy Wijenayake Tuesday, 27 February 2024 08:01 AM

    Peter Woods got Sri Lanka Airlines on top, until MR dismissed him for petty petty personal reasons. The basic problem is our ministers seem to know to know better and stuff up every thing.

    Nimal Tuesday, 27 February 2024 12:10 PM


    Anura Mahendra Bandara Tuesday, 27 February 2024 11:31 PM

    Absolutely false. Peter Hell ran the company down and he is mostly responsible for the present woes, as he initiated such downfall which commenced in 1999. Our government should recover and / or recoup the 'serious loss of capital' for which Peter Hell and subsequent Sri Lankan management personnel are directly responsible. This airline was pushed to doldrums during the period 1999 to 2021, by such incapable and / or corrupt officials.

    Ganesh Tuesday, 27 February 2024 08:35 AM

    This is what happens to any organization when incompetent people are appointed. UL used to be such a joy to fly back in its hey day. Even now the airline crew with all its shortcoming are much better in terms of hospitality than the so called five star airlines. However, thanks to politicization seems like the air line is also on its last legs. Good people hard working people have to suffer thanks to a few. just like MR’s B-I-L the current chairman is bloody clueless. Take a cue from what the the Indian government did for AI/IA and try to hand this over to the TATAs.

    Surain Tuesday, 27 February 2024 10:29 AM

    Our Air line is one of the beautiful Airline with outstanding service our Airline was initially ruined by Emirates by selling assets of the carrier then started using as her a feeder line to fill Emirates flights that's the truth politicians like MR and the gang ruined the rest bring back previous Air Lanka re structure the entire operation bring an influential investor in the industry do not falk political interferences to it the rafter

    Rajiv De Silva Tuesday, 27 February 2024 12:21 PM

    Hillariouse, Jockers do not get it.

    ANNECUNT Tuesday, 27 February 2024 02:21 PM


    R Navaratnam Tuesday, 27 February 2024 02:29 PM

    Anger by the Minister is not right. Rationality is required, one of which is is to privatize the airline.

    Jeanne Wednesday, 28 February 2024 02:00 AM

    Anger = guilt

    Adwani Tuesday, 27 February 2024 05:21 PM

    I just remembered our honourable former Minister, Sachin Vass Gunawardana, telling one of the Airline Engineers that, if there is technical fault just push and the Aircraft will start. Who turned red faced upon hearing his command.

    Adwani Tuesday, 27 February 2024 05:21 PM

    I just remembered our honourable former Minister, Sachin Vass Gunawardana, telling one of the Airline Engineers that, if there is technical fault just push and the Aircraft will start. Who turned red faced upon hearing his command.

    ANNECUNT Tuesday, 27 February 2024 06:21 PM


    Anura Mahendra Bandara Tuesday, 27 February 2024 11:24 PM

    I am Anura Mahhendra Bandara, having a proven track record in international aviation

    Percy Wijenayake Wednesday, 28 February 2024 06:07 AM

    Thank you Nimal, for the correction.

    Gonapola Nakipala Wednesday, 28 February 2024 06:22 AM

    Kaalakanni sleeping Pagapala destroyed the whole culture of SL! Blame to unelected refused Ponna RW for doing this to the country! GoRa sacked this man - but...... Time is coming Pagapala - handover all Bribe money soon!!

    Ramani Wickramaratne Tuesday, 05 March 2024 09:37 AM

    People must be crazy to fly on this rat infested airline. The two rogue rats are the minister and the chairman.

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