Written by Staff Writer
07 Apr, 2018 | 11:55 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Over the recent months, News 1st continuously revealed the continuous losses incurred by SriLankan Airlines.
The recent statements by its new chairman bear testament to our revelations.It is now accepted, if authorities acted back then the country would not be facing the present state of affairs.
This revelation is for the attention of the new Chairman of SriLankan Airlines.
SriLankan Airlines attracted negative attention over the years mainly due to its massive losses, mismanagement, and inefficiency of its board of directors. Though some say they saved the national airline from the grip of the family, the only significant achievement made by the board of directors appointed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, was to make continuous losses.
During the period of the former board of directors, many weak decisions were made which lead to the airline suffering massive losses.
The first was the cancellation of aircraft orders without any understanding. In 2016, Rs. 2.562 billion had to be paid as a fine and in 2017 the fine rose to Rs. 14.363 billion.
SriLankan Airlines was among the top in the list of airlines which ordered A350 Airbuses. Since there is a high demand for A350 Airbuses, other airlines pay close attention to any airlines that cancel an order. Experts in the industry say a slot in the order list is worth around $15 million to $20 million. They claim the board of directors at that time had not made any attempt to find a potential client and negotiate the matter to avoid a massive loss.
Another controversial decision taken by the former board of directors was to re-lease three A330 planes which are 18 years old, for a period of six years. For such aircraft, high maintenance costs are applicable and there is lack of credibility when flying such old aircraft.
An airline always makes an attempt to keep its fleet of planes at a very young age which results in attracting more customers. However, the decision taken by the then board of directors has distanced passengers from the airline rather than attracting them.
The previous administration of SriLankan Airlines had also lost an income of more than $100 million in ticket sales due to weak ticket sales management.
However, will all these wrong acts be rectified simply because they are removed?
It is not the national carrier or the general public who should be held responsible for the waste and corruption. It is the administration and the political authority who provided leadership to them that needs to be held accountable.
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