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Friday, September 22, 2023

To reduce losses the Sri Lankan government plans to sell SriLankan Airlines

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In order to reduce financial losses, Sri Lanka’s new government plans to sell and privatize the country’s main carrier, SriLankan Airlines.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka’s next Prime Minister, announced the decision in a televised speech to the country on May 16, 2022.

“It should not be that this loss has to be borne by the poorest of the poor who have not set foot in an aircraft,” Wickremesinghe said.

The national carrier, according to Wickremesignhe, lost 45 billion rupees ($124 million) in the fiscal year ending March 2021.

Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister for the sixth time last week, amid political and economic turmoil in the country.

Wickremesinghe took over from Mahinda Rajapaksa, the last of the Rajapaksa political dynasty to control Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa’s brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is the current president.

The Rajapaksa family’s administration is blamed for Sri Lanka’s economic crisis, which has been exacerbated by a pandemic that has slowed the country’s tourism business.

SriLankan Airlines, formerly known as Air Lanka, was founded in December 1979. Emirates purchased a portion of the airline in 1998. The Sri Lankan government bought all of Sri Lankan Airlines’ airline interests from Emirates in 2008. The airline joined the OneWorld alliance in 2014.

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