Dubai Flight

May 25, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka government and Emirates airlines would soon have discussions on extending Srilankan Airlines’ management deal with the Dubai based carrier, a top official said. “A team is coming to meet the President on this,” Finance Ministry Secretary P B Jayasundera told LBO Friday.

Dubai government-owned Emirates has a 10-year contract ending in March 2008, to manage SriLankan Airlines which is Sri Lanka’s national carrier.

Emirates also has a 43 percent equity stake in the airline.

Emirates top official in Sri Lanka, Srilankan Chief Executive Peter Hill said earlier that a delay in finalizing deal was affecting forward planning at the airline.

However, Emirates President Tim Clark was quoted in March as saying that it was up to the Sri Lankan government, struggling to cope with the intensifying Tamil Tiger separatist war, to persuade the Middle Eastern airline to continue the arrangement.

“They [Sri Lankan government] have basically got to persuade us that it’s worth our while,” Clark told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit in Dubai.

Clarke was also quoted as saying the Sri Lankan government’s creation of a new airline, Mihin Air, w