SriLankan to review aircraft order | Daily News


SriLankan to review aircraft order

SriLankan Airlines is on track to set up an Airline Maintenance and Repair Centre (MRO) with an Asian based airline counterpart at the Mattala airport, said the airline new CEO, Suren Ratwatte.

He told Daily News Business that earlier negotiations with Lufthansa Techink a German company is no longer in progress since they have abandoned plans for Sri Lanka and set up a centre in Manila. “Our talks with the Asian counterpart is progressing well,” he said.

Ratwatte said that they see tremendous business opportunities ahead for a MRO and it would bring additional revenue to the airline.

Commenting on the re-fleeting of the airline, he said that it was a good move to retire aging aircraft.

“However we must re look at the ‘aircraft order.’ Since the ‘order’ is for wide bodied aircraft that could carry more passengers. What SriLankan currently needs is narrow bodied aircraft, that could be easily filled with passengers.”

He also justified the move to abandon the ‘stop over’ flights to Mattala airport. “I think that is a waste of money and it was a step taken in the right direction. We don’t have an immediate plan to resume flights there,” he said.

Commenting on the creation of Mihin Lanka he said that Sri Lanka could have done without it. “However since it is now up and running we will relook at addressing the ‘minus’ issues of the airline.”

He also said that the partly closer of the Colombo airport for ’runway relay’ has also put additional financial pressure on them since they have to reschedule ‘timings.’ Ratwatte who has being appointed to the Tourism Development Authority advisory board said that he is working closely with them.

A plan to operate flights to Maldives second international airport, Gan, was also disclosed.

It was pointed out that there were several high-end resorts that need better air connectivity and SriLankan could get in there from Colombo.

A former pilot with Emirates Ratwatte, when asked if Emirates is offered aviation fuel at concessionary rates when purchasing aviation fuel he said Emirates does have a bigger fleet and due to this their bargaining power is high.

“However I must say that the price of aviation fuel in Colombo International Airport is very high but it is cheaper in Mattala because of concessions offered to attract airlines,”Ratwatte added. 

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