Sri Lanka’s Mihin charts flight path for 2008: interview

Jan 17, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state owned budget carrier Mihin Air is promising better results this year after burning up its capital and clocking up a 1.4 billion rupee loss in the first year of operations. In a wide ranging interview with Shamindra Kulamannage from ETV’s Lanka Business Report (LBR) program Mihin chief executive Sajin de Vass Gunawardena talked about the airline’s first year of operations and its strategy to recover from start-up losses.

LBR: How large are Mihin Lanka’s outstanding liabilities?

A: We have outstanding liabilities of about 750 million rupees which includes around 385 million rupees we owe to the Petroleum Corporation. The others are regularly serviceable debts. It’s a commercial entity. It’s a business. If you ask me when I’m going to pay this I would say never because it’s always a recurring thing, we settle, we utilize and then settle again. But I do admit the CPC (Petroleum Corporation) matter must be sorted out. When we get 500 million rupees from the treasury we plan a partial settlement to the CPC and then arrive at a way where we would pay 85-90 percent of what we consume.

LBR: So essentially if you get 500 million rupees the en