March 30, 2008 (AFP) – Dubai’s Emirates Airlines said Sunday it would stop sharing routes with Sri Lanka’s national carrier when its decade-long management contract expires this month. “Code share arrangements between Emirates and SriLankan Airlines will cease from 31st March 2008 with the expiry of the management agreement,” Emirates said in a statement released here.
The decision follows worsening relations between Emirates Airlines and Colombo, with talks between both sides collapsing after nearly two years of negotiations over renewing the contract.
In December, the government withdrew the work permit of the Emirates-appointed chief executive of SriLankan Airlines, Peter Hill, because he failed to “look after the interests of the majority shareholder.”
However, the Dubai-based carrier said it will retain its near 44 percent stake and continue to have a board presence.
Emirates president Tim Clarke had told AFP in January that it was willing to sell all or part of its equity stake, valuing the 43.6 percent parcel at 150 million dollars.
Emirates will continue to serve Sri Lanka with 17 weekly flights to Colombo, connecting the country’s travellers to 100 glo