Cancelling 4 Airbus planes order cost country Rs.17 Bn - COPE | Daily News
AG’s advice not sought: UK legal firm consulted :

Cancelling 4 Airbus planes order cost country Rs.17 Bn - COPE

The country’s economy suffered an adverse impact by the need to pay USD 115.77 Mn or Rs. 17,058.1 Mn as compensation when it was decided by SriLankan Airlines to terminate the agreement to purchase four Airbus A350-900 passenger aircraft without an adequate cost-benefit analysis, the Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) has observed.

The observation was made in the second report of COPE regarding the replacement of the fleet of aircraft of SriLankan Airlines Limited and the termination of the agreement for the acquisition of eight aircraft of A350-900 model entered into in the years 2013 and 2014. The second COPE report was presented to Parliament by COPE Chairman JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti yesterday (21).

The Committee also observed that the opinion of the Attorney General had not been sought to terminate the agreement to acquire aircraft and the termination agreement had been prepared under the guidance of “Aviation Legal Experts”, a legal consultant firm situated in the UK.

The Committee has also observed that only the officials from the Finance Ministry and Sri Lankan Airlines had taken part in the discussion held to terminate the agreement to acquire aircraft and no official from the Public Enterprise Development Ministry, which is the subject ministry, had participated in the discussion.

COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti requested a one day debate in Parliament on the findings and revelations in the said report.

The report includes the Special Audit Report submitted by the Auditor General at the request of COPE regarding the replacement of the fleet of aircraft of SriLankan Airlines Ltd and the final report of the inquiry conducted by the Auditor General at the request of COPE on the termination of the agreement for the acquisition of eight A350-900 model aircraft entered into in 2013 and 2014 by SriLankan Airlines.

According to COPE, SriLankan Airlines had endured the said loss due to the process of revocation of lease agreements in obtaining four A 350-900 aircraft and, an additional compensation would have to be paid at the termination of agreements on another four of the same aircraft to be delivered in year 2020/2021.

The Management of SriLankan Airlines which held office during the period relevant to the said termination and the decision to add 14 modern aircrafts to the fleet within eight years shall be responsible for the total loss including the loss of USD 115.77 mn, the special audit report by the Auditor General, which is included in the COPE report, observed.

 


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