SriLankan failed to recover USD 1.1 mn adavanced payment for aircraft components | Daily News
Presidential Commission probing SriLankan, SriLankan Catering and Mihin:

SriLankan failed to recover USD 1.1 mn adavanced payment for aircraft components

SriLankan Airlines (SLA) has so far failed to recover an advance payment of USD 1.1 million made to Lufthansa Technik AG of German on the supply of aircraft components in 2016, the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka learnt yesterday.

This advance payment had been made by the SriLankan for 15 Air Craft Invoices (ACI), which were rejected by the SLA’s Engineering Finance Division, an Internal Audit conducted in December 2016 had pointed out.

According to the testimony of Upekha Abeysekera, Senior Manager, Revenue Accounting at SriLankan, the airline has entered into component support contract with Lufthansa in 2012. She said that transactions between these two companies are done through IATA Clearing House (ICH) which provides fast, secure and cost effective billing and settlement services in multiple currencies for the air transport industry.

When SriLankan Airlines purchases items from Lufthansa, IATA makes the initial payment and SriLankan pays IATA that amount within a week. But, if there is a rejection of the component that is purchased, it should be presented by SriLankan Airlines within six months.

However, it came to light that the Airline had to face this situation due to the lack of proper communication with Lufthansa over the matter within the period of six months. The initial rejections to these invoices of Lufthansa were made by the Components Management Section under the Engineering Financing Division of SriLankan Airlines.

Rohitha Sujeewan Kuruppu, who was then in charge of the Components Management Section yesterday told the PCoI that his division on the instructions given by his immediate superior, Manager, Engineering Finance Baratha Panapitiya was negotiating with Lufthansa to ensure a 100% payback on the USD 1.1 million that SriLankan Airlines had paid.

However, appearing before the PCoI yesterday, Panapitiya said that he never asked Kuruppu to negotiate with Lufthansa before presenting the rejection, but to resend the rejected invoice with a particular e-mail to him forwarded to the Finance Division of SriLankan Airlines.

“But, later the Components Management Section informed me that they were going to negotiate with Lufthansa over the matter,” he said.


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