Sri Lankan state airline appoints two directors

June 09, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan Airlines had appointed two new directors from private sector firms to its board, and has re-appointed existing directors, the airlines said, with the government on track to buy back a minority stake from Emirates. The airline said it was about to launch a new service to Shanghai, and was exploring several other destinations to start its own services or code-shares with other airlines. Sri Lankan said Nishantha Wickremasinghe has been re-appointed as chairman along with Nihal Jayamanne, Kapila Chandrasena, and Shameendra Rajapaksa.

Manilal Fernando, chairman of the Sri Lanka unit of Holcim, a Swiss cement group and Chris Nonis have been appointed directors.

Sri Lanka’s government is about to buy back a 43.5 percent stake of the airline from Emirates, which ran the airline until 2008. Emirates directors resigned earlier.

Sri Lankan said it was planning to expand flights by 15 percent by the end of this year and an Airbus A330 would be acquired by July. The airline lost about 10 billion rupees last year.

“SriLankan Airlines intends to be an important player in the post-war growth of Sri Lanka’s economy, including tourism, air cargo exports, aircraft engineering, airline training, in-flight caterin