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SriLankan, a corrupted airline without any aircrafts as assets: PM
02 Apr, 2015 00:10:34
By Gayan Chandrasekara
Apr 02, 2015 (LBO) – State owned SriLankan airlines is a huge burden on the country even though it does not own any aircraft's at present, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

Accepting the first copy of a report on SriLankan Airlines, Wickremesinghe told reporters Wednesday that the procurement procedure and power abuse was comprehensively investigated in the report.

“This airline is a huge burden to our country. I don’t think there is an airline in the world with this kind of burden,” Wickremesinghe stressed.

“We don’t even own an Airbus. It only has few vehicles right now; few busses and lorries. Even an ordinary transport company has more than that.”

Former aviation minister Arjuna Ranatunga appointed a four member committee headed by attorney at law J.C Weliamuna to investigate alleged irregularities in the airline.

The committee consisted of two accountants and two lawyers. The assistance of two aviation experts was also received.

“After studying this report the aviation minister will make a detailed statement in Parliament in the coming weeks.” Wickremesinghe said.

SriLankan Airlines, the national airline of the island came under severe criticism saw the previous administration pump huge amount of money into the loss making institution.

“We made a huge loss; not only because of corruption but also because of incorrect management policies,”

“This report will be a guide to me also.” newly appointed aviation services minister Reginald Cooray said.

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READER COMMENT(S)
19. Flyer Apr 03
I can't understand why an airline with cheap labor and a low cost of borrowing (because of soverign guarantee) can not make money. It is just sheer mismanagement. nothing else. What is DISGRACE.
18. Suneth Perera Apr 03
If this operation making losses what is the point keeping it. I suggest to come up with viable business plan to run or else sell to an International Air Line which run profitably with synergy of existing business. The expected money saving could be deployed for a development. The government could go to the public and the benefit the nation received due to such action. Unless such bold decision this government also will get into bad wicket without taking action. These report also some time not serving any purpose other than slicing mud for previous regime. I have a question whether this government has the right to question every thing did by democratically elected previous government. Adding to corruption Ranil take about yahapalanaya (good governance) made a political appointment to central bank. This is really bad. Why he did not appoint a true professional who has experience at the Central Bank. The biggest concern is our war Heroes put into trouble for petty political gains.
17. Jaya Apr 03
Looks like Ranil is going to sell the Air-Line again. Too much blaming and accusing on previous government and it is time to fix things. The 'lucky to be Prime Minister' need to be careful making statements on National Carrier as this is about "Sri Lankan AirLine" so these comments may affect the ticket sales and future of Air Lanka.
16. Buhary Wazeer Apr 03
Stop all the sri lankan airline corruption then will be ok, 1st lay off all the top management team then the air line will be ok.
15. Truth Apr 03
What can you expect after 9 years of mismanagement by MR's brother in law as the CEO ? Why isn't Nishantha Wickremasinghe taken to task even now?
14. Saman Apr 03
I endorse what PM said because the flight UL265 of 1st April was landed in Goha Quattar because of the bad wheather and all the passengers had to wait a day at the airport facing various difficulties. Some have not taken meals for over 13 hours until they provided with some tickets later. Usually All the airlines provide hotel facility if there was a delay. Why not Sri Lankan only abstained from that. It proved its AUSTERITY or STINGYNESS
13. CF Apr 03
Well atgleast PM has found the issue. But will he take correct decisions? The first and foremost is Sri Lankan Airlines is overstafeed and overpaid.Sri Lankan Pilots are getting too much.Some Management Pilots when you add the salary and perks it comes around $ 10,000 .Thats way too much for this Airline. more than 5000 people working for 15 Aircrafts , massive burden when the ratio Airraft to employee ratio.Heatl fund massive burden more than rs 90 Million annual employee health fund, Fule bill for employees and Perks, Too much, Flight Operations cost when you take the Crew Pick up budget. ECD global is getting paid extra Rs 1 lakh to pick one Pilot. Too much burden , so cut them streamline the first ,
12. Don Apr 02
They always say that every thing is "due to corruption" which is a general term. But never explain in detail what this corruption is. People are now sick of listening to this loose talk which is made to the gallery.
11. Mevan Apr 02
The people responsible must be named and shamed. Of what use to the ordinary public is this airline? Just imagine if this money had been spent on trains or buses - even at a loss!
10. Lanka Watch Apr 02
Time and again, the experts have advised the govts in power that management should be in the hands of experienced people in the field but political stooges were engaged to run the airline with zero knowledge of aviation. It is happening even today. Govt. should appoint a committee of foreign experts to find out whether anairline of this size with colossal loss in operational costs is reqd. for SL and secondly why is budget airline,Mihin is still operating, incurring further losses and mind you, foreign currency is required to run airlines.

The objection to down size the airline comes from no one other, than the politicians who wants to keep the national airline flying to fly them free on their rounds. During the last regime 1500 million rupees were spent on Govt. travel which the country cannot afford. What is suggested is to have a regional airline operating into profitable routes like India & Middle east and some countries in Far east and completely avoid long haul sectors to Europe, where the expenses on crew accommodation, parking fees aircraft handling and navigational charges pile up in a very competitive area,unless govt.wants to operate flights to Europe for prestige sake. They can have bilateral agreements with major airlines to carry our long haul passengers on profit sharing basis.

Since the PM is now involved, strongly suggest that he ignores rosy reports presented by the board, who wants to keep their perks in tact and get some foreign help from experts overseas.or contact Malaysian airlines, which restructured the airline recently with foreign help,after mismanaging it for 40 years by local management The govt. should do a head search using some recognized firms in US or Europe and plant an expert as CEO/Chairman who should be given a free hand and you will see the difference or in the alternative go back to either Emirates or Singapore airlines for administrative assistance with an eye on selection of routes. This country cannot afford such luxuries at heavy losses in foreign exchange There are other means Sri Lankan airlines can earn money by way of providing catering, aircraft handling at BIA and earn commissions on sale of other airline tickets. Spending money on infrastructure at BIA is worth it as wide body aircraft are on the increase and BIA should be able to handle them, where there is money.

9. Flyer Apr 02
If there are corrupt activities, why isn't anyone being prosecuted? Talk is cheap.
8. Jon Man Apr 02
Why wont you give Sri Lankan Air lines back to emirates who are smart who will show profit with sri lankan airways. Close down MIHIN. All what MIHIN air inventory joining to SRI LANKAN AIRWAYS and give the management to EMIRATES. ONCE IT WAS PROFITABLE...
7. Village Man Apr 02
Well, it seems Ranil preparing the ground to sell it to a foreign air line and acquire a mansion in London the same way, Chura Rejina did that with selling stake & management to Emirates. Wellimuna is a UNP lawyer not an airline management specialist to talk about Sri Lankan air.
6. IEMERALD Apr 02
SO WHAT IS THIS BIG TALKING RANIL GOING TO DO ABOUT IT. AFTER ALL HE IS THE PRIME MINISTER. STATING THE OBVIOUS IS NOT WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR. WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR IS WHAT YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT. ALL THESE POLITICIANS DO IS TALK AND MORE TALK. NO ACTION AT ALL. (Moderated by Editor in Chief)
5. LASITH Apr 02
Everybody knows how many airbuses were destroyed by LTTE BOMBING.
4. Harry S. Apr 02
Its a shame, a crying shame that all this is coming out now. The man on the road does not understand the present state in the country as long he is given his basics at the expense of a subsidy. Neopitism, Corruption, Drugs, Murders, Thuggery, Smuggling, etc, etc, etc was what the MR Govt produced. It will take a long, very long time to bring Sri Lanka to what it should be. May all those who are responsible for all this mess answer to God along with their families and may God bless those who are trying their best to clean up the mess. So be it.
3. Patriot Apr 02
Should not the government change the law as urgently as the change to the constitution to ensure that all important appointments to positions that affect the running and future of major corporations and government and semi government bodies where the the citizens have a stake such as Airlines,Oil distribution,power and energy are appointed by a body consisting of independent and qualified persons who would be held accountable for such appointments.People such as retired supreme court judges,company directors,directors of reputable companies.Leaving room for corrupt politicians such as MR to appoint thieves and utter duds as we have seen in the past few years will see the country facing the same calamity over and over again>People must be given the opportunity to challege and question the elligibility of such appointments based on a set of strict eligibility criteria set for each position under law.What is the use of investigations and reports if it is left to another corrupt leader to appoint anyone he or she pleases to ransack and pillage public assets with no real penalties being imposed after all the damage is done.The new government must make use of this opportunity
2. HVC Apr 02
Since the purform srilankan airlines, all the goverments dosent go for airlines owned aircrafts & all are hired from forighn conpanies. I am thinking, this may making some profit for politicians. normaly one airbus rental charge per day is over 5000$. Public has doubt why the goverments not keeping own air buses in flee.UAE, Singapore. Thai, Maleysin, Air India all having their own fleets in their services.???
1. SanFranciscoDude Apr 02
Where is Nishantha Wicramasinghe, the man who is responsible for the current state of dilapidated Sri Lankan Air Lines. I still can't believe how that man made in to an executive post in one of the most important ventures in Sri Lanka. Rajapakse era was cursed with corruption,Tea-Planters became the Chairmen of AirLines, Tea-Tasters became the ambassadors to most powerful countries. How could a country raise it's head if the burden of it's own politicians weighing down on it.