Oct 13, 2017 (LBO) – State Minister of Finance Eran Wickremeratne said that the Airbus Industrie is also responsible as buyers and sellers are both accountable with regard to the SriLankan airlines purchase of A350 – 900 aircraft.
“The Airbus Industrie in France should have taken note if a small country like ours with a small GDP could afford this? If we needed these wide bodied aircrafts the A3550 -900? and that it did not fit our strategy,” he said speaking at think tank Advocata’s Economic Freedom Summit, Thursday.
“Buyers as well as sellers are responsible. It is unfortunate that we have already had to pay nearly US 100 million dollars in recently terminating 04 aircraft.”
State run SriLankan Airlines recorded an unaudited group loss of 6.49 billion rupees for the financial year 2016/7 before finance and one-off charges.
It bought over a dozen A350 and A330 aircrafts from Airbus Industrie and leasing company AerCap at an estimated two billion US dollars during the previous Rajapakse regime.
Issuing a statement last year the airline said the aircrafts are both inappropriate and too expensive for the Airline, given the current operating environment and the excessive lease costs.
A team from Airbus is due in Colombo for negotiations soon the Minister said.
The Minister also said that Sri Lanka is looking at public-private partnership (PPP) models to bring back profitability to loss making state-owned-enterprises.
“A few years ago we had this legislation to expropriate state-owned assets and this sent a very negative signal to the investors and was detrimental to the economy,”
“The present Government didn’t agree with what happened and steps will be taken to repeal such legislation.”