Written by Staff Writer
15 Aug, 2018 | 10:56 pm
Colombo (News 1st) – The Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Sri Lankan Airlines convened once again today to investigate into matters of abuse and mismanagement of the company’s resources. The witnesses, both Operations Control Managers at the airline, spoke of an incident that occurred on the 26th of January 2014.
The witnesses stated that a technical fault in one aircraft which was reported on the 25th of January meant that only one aircraft was available to fly two routes the following day.
These routes were UL 553 from Colombo to Frankfurt at 1.00AM on the 26th of January and UL 563 from Colombo to Paris at 1.15AM. Following due process, the Operations team at the airline decided to delay UL 563 to Paris by 4 and a half hours to 5.45AM.
This coincidentally worked well for the Management, as a flight from Male to Colombo, carrying 75 passengers who were due to board UL 563, had also been delayed, meaning that all passengers would now be able to board the flight to Paris due to the coinciding delays.
All decisions regarding rescheduling had been conveyed in writing to the Airline’s Senior Management Team.
However, the operations manager testified that he received a phone call from the Chairman of the airline, Nishantha Wickramasinghe, who demanded that the delayed Paris flight be reinstated, and the Frankfurt flight be delayed.
As this was in violation of the usual protocol, Chief Operations’ Officer Druvi Perera had then been approached about the matter, and he too had recommended that the Chairman’s orders be followed. As a result of this, over 75 individuals had to be re-routed to Paris via Frankfurt, for which Sri Lankan Airlines had to incur the costs.
As a result of this situation, the Airline was forced to bare an additional expense of 90,000 US Dollars.
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