Bursting Point

February 16, 2007 (LBO) — SriLankan Airlines says it is running out of cargo space at Colombo’s international airport, while a newly-built facility lies empty over a rent dispute. The issue is likely to remain a sticky point as the government drags its feet to over the renewal of SriLankan’s management agreement with Emirates which is due to run out in 2008. The flag carrier broke records for the fifth-year running in 2006 lifting 167,289 metric tonnes of cargo, a 4.48 percent rise over a year earlier, SriLankan said in a release.

“Our success is due to our expanded network throughout the Indian Subcontinent, coupled with promotional activities,” Head of SriLankan cargo Nalin Rodrigo said.

“It is now crucial that we expand our cargo handling facilities at BIA [Bandaranaike International Airport] very soon, since the existing warehouse is operating far beyond its designed capacity,” Rodrigo said.

Earlier SriLankan expanded its freight capacity to around 150,000 metric tonnes from the original 130,000 metric tonnes.

“But this too is now at its maximum capacity,” Rodrigo said.

Total volumes handled by SriLankan Cargo at BIA have climbed up from 102,497 metri