Written by Keshala Dias
05 Apr, 2018 | 9:16 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The new Board of Directors of the ailing national carrier SriLankan Airlines convened their first ever media briefing today (April 5), and expressed their commitment to revive the airline through sacrifice.
A new chairman and 4 new board directors were appointed to SriLankan Airlines on April 2nd.
Newly appointed Chairman, Ranjith Fernando pledged to make changes in the airline and also stated that the board will not take salaries or remuneration from the airline until it becomes profitable.
According to the current chairman, SriLankan Airlines suffered a $100 Million loss in the last financial year and the total debt of the SOE is around $750 Million.
He also highlighted that the company is “terribly” overstaffed and that changes are needed in the management of the airlines.
The SOE also has aircraft which consultants have pointed out are not suitable for some of the routes that SriLankan Airlines is currently operating on.
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?
While the hunt continues for a viable party to buy out the failing airline, the board expressed confidence that they could work towards the airline breaking even within a matter of 3 financial years.
All members of the new board of directors will be serving in a pro-bono basis and do not expect to get involved in the day to day operations of the airline. Chairman Ranjith Fernando states that they would undertake a supervisory role and let the management handle the operations.
Fernando also stated that the new board is willing to make changes in the management if they do not meet the new board’s objectives and goals.
Board Director Mano Tittawella says the new board has the backing of the Treasury as long as investments are sound and will generate long-term reasonable returns.
The Chairman of the National Agency for Public Private Partnerships, Thilan Wijesinghe responding to a query raised during the briefing said the airline is in talks with Airbus to cancel four Airbus A350s which are currently on order.
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