Sri Lanka carrier seeks Boeing long-haul aircraft

July 5, 2011 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's state-run national carrier SriLankan Airlines has sought a quote from US-based Boeing aircraft to replace its ageing long-haul Airbus fleet, but the European aircraft maker is also in the running, an official said. SriLankan Airlines chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said the supplier of its new long haul fleet will also have to arrange the sale of "three or four" of its older A340 aircraft.

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The airline was looking at acquiring Boeing 777 aircraft.

"I sent a letter to them last week, indicating them to offer some aircraft and swap with our aircraft," Wickremasinghe said.

"If Boeing can arrange for somebody to buy the ageing aircraft cost-wise it will be cheaper.

"We have told the same thing to Airbus.

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I have ageing Airbuses that I want to replace with a younger fleet of aircraft."

SriLankan Airlines has already started to replace its short haul fleet. In May it took delivery of one brand new Airbus.

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Another three are due in September and October 2010 and April 2012.

Three aircraft are leased from US-based Air Lease Corporation and the fourth from CIT also US based, officials said earlier.

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