Govt purchases 43 percent Emirates shares:
Sri Lankan fully national
The Government has become the sole owner of SriLankan Airlines as it
has purchased all shares of the Emirates recently.
The Government has purchased 43 percent of shares from Emirates and
its share ownership has increased to 94.6 percent. The balance 5.4
percent shares belong to the SriLankan Airlines employees.
Under the Emirates management, the SriLankan Airlines had been
running at a loss. According to statistics of SriLankan Airlines, the
loss in the 2008/2009 financial year was Rs 10 billion while the loss in
the 2009/2010 financial year was Rs seven billion.
SriLankan now operates 13 flights to many destinations. The number of
aircraft will be increased in the future. An airbus will be purchased
within next three months, Ports and Aviation Deputy Ministers Rohitha
Abeygunawardena and Dayasrita Tissera said.
As a Government owned public institute, SriLankan Airlines has to be
converted to a profit-earning venture than be a burden to the country. A
full-scale analysis is being carried out to identify the present
situation. However, within a short period the institute will be made a
profit-earning venture, the Deputy Ministers added.
Shares of the SriLankan Airlines were sold to Emirates Airlines based
in Dubai, UAE in 1998 for US $ 70 million and the airline’s management
was also handed over to the Emirates. At that time it was known as
Airlanka but the stake bought the Emirates was valued at more than
double the amount US $ 150 million at the end of the 10 years by the
The PA Government at the time under the privatization policy lost all
control over the National carrier and the UPFA Government attempted to
gain some control but under the agreement with Emirates the entire
management were by its Manager Peter Hill. The Government’s policy of
non-privatization of public enterprises formulated by President Mahinda
Rajapaksa enabled the Government to buy back the shares sold to Emirates
after negotiations over some time.