Written by Tharushan Fernando
16 Jul, 2016 | 8:42 pm
Sri Lankan Airlines flights will be limited to the Middle East and Asia in another three months. Sri Lankan Aviation Services Trade Unions have raised concerns that this could spell impending doom of the national carrier. SriLankan Airlines operated direct flights to Paris, Rome, Frankfurt Germany and London, in addition to its flights to the Middle East and Asia.
The first cancellation was the flights operating towards Rome, this was done last April. Plans have been made to cancel the flights to Frankfurt, Germany from the month of October.The direct flights to Paris,France will be cancelled by November.The direct flights to London will be the only flight that SriLankan Airlines operates towards europe. That too will be one flight per day.
Chairman of the Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya SriLankan Airlines, Janaka Wijepathirana charged that the national carrier is heading towards a natural death because when flights are cancelled to destinations like Paris and Frankfurt, the amount of tourists arriving from these countries will decline, this will in turn affect the tourism industry. He stated that while reducing the number of destinations: other carriers are expanding to these destinations.
“We have to understand who gains from the business opportunity that we will let go of”, pointed out the Chairman
Flights operating towards Europe are being cancelled in a backdrop where an individual has been appointed to the designation of Promotions Head for Europe and America
Chairman Wijepathirana further noted that there are officers in Europe who are working for Sri Lankan Airlines and are receiving a large salary even at present and such decisions were reached on earlier occasions as well.
He pointed out that flights to Frankfurt and Paris were cancelled and reinstated on a number of occasions, while certain decisions were made purely based on political motives and public funds are being wasted due to decisions such as this one…”
Meanwhile, the Voice Against Corruption is stating that the government has turned a blind eye towards the JC Weliamuna reports that highlight the anomalies at SirLankan airlines.
Convener for the Voice Against Corruption,Wasantha Samarasinghe who noted that the services of Sri Lankan airlines are being handed over to other aviation companies. He also stated that “now they are planning on selling off the destinations to which SriLankan airlines operates to.
He added that the recommendations of the J.C. Weliamuna report have not been implemented. The individuals who caused harm to Sri Lankan Airlines are still free and what has happened now is that the national carrier has come to a stage where its facing a huge risk. He said that what the government should do is, instead of holding discussions regarding selling this company, they should hold discussions as to how to raise SriLankan Airlines from this crisis.
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