April 23, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Trans Asia hotel, part of the John Keells group, will be closed for repairs after being damaged in a Tamil Tiger air raid and be reopened under a new name. The company said in a stock exchange filing that the hotel in Colombo will be closed for three and a half months starting May 15, 2009 for refurbishment and repair.
“Upon completion, the hotel would be re-branded and launched as Cinnamon Lakeside, Colombo”.
Cinnamon is a brand of the JKH group hotels.
Trans Asia was damaged in a night-time air raid by Tamil Tigers on February 20, 2009.
A Tiger light aircraft packed with explosives tried to attack the air force headquarters building which is next to the hotel.
But the plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed into a high-rise that housed the government tax office, also next to the hotel, and exploded.
Trans Asia was damaged in the explosion with the windows of many rooms being broken and the company is trying to claim insurance for the damage and losses caused by the interruption in business.
The hotel has reportedly closed over 160 rooms and its ballroom.
The hotel is owned by Asian Hotels Corporation w