Sri Lanka budget carrier seeks link after Emirates exits SriLankan

Jan 14, 2007 (LBO) — Sri Lanka’s state budget carrier Mihin Air will work on a common commercial strategy with full service SriLankan Airlines, after a management deal with Emirates ends in March, a top official said. “It’s very important after March that SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka work on a common commercial strategy,” Mihin Lanka chief executive Sajin de Vass Gunawardena said in an interview with ETV’s Lanka Business Report.

“The synergies must be made use of.”

The budget airline wants to share passengers with the bigger, full service national carrier.

“We have to ensure that we don’t compete, says de Vass Gunawardena who is also an influential advisor to Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapakse. ‘Mihin’ is a diminutive on the president’s first name.

“I don’t know what the staff would say but at the end of the day we should work for the benefit of the nation.”

Mihin Lanka competes with Sri Lankan Airlines on six of its seven routes with Buddhagaya in India being the only exception but the two do not have a passenger sharing (code share) agreement.

Set up nine months ago with 250 million rupees in equity from the state, budget carrier Mihin Lanka has been los