Written by Keshala Dias
09 Mar, 2017 | 9:15 pm
Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne says that out of the companies that expressed interest to operate SriLankan Airlines, American investment company, the Texas Pacific Group (TPG) has been selected for the restructuring of SriLankan AirLines.
However, the Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya of the airline says that TPG is not qualified to be vested with the responsibility of operations of the national carrier.
On April 26, 2016, the Cabinet decided to merge SriLankan Airlines with a private company.
Among firms that put forward bids to invest in the national carrier, SriLankan Airlines linked Peace Air, Super Group from Maldives and American based TPG were shortlisted.
MP Eran Wickramaratne noted that TPG is a Private Equity Fund with decades of history, which has a history of investing in airlines and steering them in the right direction.
“This is not a new company. In 1997 when the government of Chandrika Kumaratunga was called for bids, many placed their bids including TPG”, he added, “If they were accepted back then, perhaps SriLankan Airlines would be connected with the global aviation network in a different way”.
However, Chairman of the SLNSS (SriLankan Airlines) Janaka Wijepathiratne claims that TPG cannot be vested with the responsibility of operating a national carrier as they do not see it as an experienced firm in civil aviation.
“The restructuring process lacked transparency, there were many allegations that were made through the media”, he added, “There is doubt that TPG is going to invest through a firm that is linked with the Treasury bond scam”.
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