May 04, 2017 (LBO) – SriLankan Airlines has recorded an unaudited group loss of 6.49 billion rupees for the financial year before finance and one-off charges, the carrier said.
This is an increase from the 2.90 billion rupees loss recorded in the prior year.
“But it’s a significant improvement from the deficit that had been budgeted for the year,” the airline said.
Based on draft accounts, the total operational revenue increased to 136.68 billion rupees from 129.48 billion rupees in the prior year.
The airline marked an year of transformation in its recently ended financial year, carrying the highest number of passengers ever in the airline’s history.
“The depreciation of the Sri Lanka Rupee against the US Dollar had a significant negative impact on the airline, as a majority of costs in the global airline business are USD denominated.”
During the last quarter of the financial year, the airline’s performance was adversely affected due to the runway re-surfacing project at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport – which required that the airline cancels over 600 flights during the period.
The airline has completed the integration of Mihin Lanka’s operations into the SriLankan network during the year.
At the end of the year, SriLankan was serving 36 international destinations from its hub in Colombo, with an operating fleet of 24 aircraft.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimated an 8 percent global decline in air fares in USD terms.
SriLankan said it managed to control the decline in its average fares to only 3 percent in USD terms year-over-year.
It has already announced plans to add three new destinations in India from Summer 2017, thereby becoming the largest foreign airline into India by the number of cities served.
Meanwhile the primary shareholder, the Government of Sri Lanka, is undertaking an initiative to select a suitable strategic partner for the airline.