Sri Lankan Airlines cuts losses

Sept 02, 2010 (LBO) – SriLankan Airlines, Sri Lanka’s state-run national carrier said it lost 6.06 billion rupees in the year to March 2010, down from a 9.99 billion loss notched up an year earlier. The airline said it had cut cost and improved revenue under turnaround plan and losses in the second half of the year was 44 percent lower than the first half.

A 30-year civil war ended in May 2009, and tourist arrivals had since picked up.

SriLankan said revenue fell to 63.36 billion rupees, down from 74.26 billion a year earlier, as operations were cut back and a fuel surcharge on air tickets was lifted.

Fuel costs were down by 35 percent, aircraft maintenance by 19 percent, catering by 3.0 percent, landing costs by 13 percent, airport handling by 7 percent and overflying by 16 percent, and key fixed costs, chief executive Manoj Gunawardena said in a statement.

Operating expenses fell to 69.2 billion rupees from 84.4 billion and unit costs improved to 43.37 rupees a tone/kilometer from 50.71 a year earlier.

Passenger load factor, or the actual passengers carried as a share of available seats had increased to 77.93 percent from 72.85 percent a year earlier. Overall load fact