Written by Lahiru Fernando
07 Oct, 2017 | 6:44 pm
Remember that cancelled SriLankan airlines order to purchase four A350-900 Airbus aircraft?
Turns out the SriLankan authorities are yet to cancel the complete order…
A group of Airbus representatives will be arriving in Sri Lanka to discuss the fate of the agreement, a high ranking Government Official told News 1st when inquired.
In 2013, the then-government of Mahinda Rajapaksa signed an agreement to purchase a total of eight A350-900 Airbus aircraft.
However the order placed for four aircraft was canceled by the current administration of Good Governance after it took office.
Following the action, the government was forced to pay a compensation amount of over US$ 90 million for calling off the agreement.
Reports say that the manufacturing of the four remaining aircraft are set to begin shortly.
They four aircraft are to be delivered in 2019/2020.
The government had already made an initial payment to France based ‘Airbus’ for the four aircraft, the government official told News 1st.
According to the official, though SLA wrote to Airbus informing the cancellation of the order, it cannot be accepted as an official notification.
SriLankan airlines suffered a loss of Rs. 14.1 billion in 2016 and has suffered an accumulated loss of Rs. 169 billion over the past 9 years.
The government has not yet taken a decision if they are will make the purchase or not, said Janaka Wijeypathirana – Chairman of the SLNSS SriLankan Airlines Branch
“There are four more airbus aircraft that needs to be boght by 2020.” he said.
He stated that, if the purchase is not being done, the company manufacturing the aircraft should be informed of the matter and negotiate the fine which needs to be paid.
Janaka Wijeypathirana stated that the group of Airbus representatives are en-route to Sri Lanka because the government has been unable to reach a decision.
“These are all money of the tax paying people. They shouldn’t have waited till this happened.” he said.
The revelations have come to light in a backdrop of reports of a possible restructuring process headed by a cabinet committee and a committee of state officials.
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