SriLankan Airlines revisiting feasibility of re-fleeting: minister

Apr 18, 2013 (LBO) – State-run SriLankan Airlines is revisiting the feasibility of re-fleeting in the wake of developments in the international aviation market, minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said. “They are re-visiting the entire feasibility,” Rambukwelle told reporters when asked whether the airline was going ahead with a plan to re-fleet the airline with new long haul aircraft.

In 2012 SriLankan and Mihin Lanka, a budget carrier that gives free food onboard, made operating losses of 21.5 billion rupees, which reporters pointed out was about half the 45 billion rupees expected from a power tariff hike this month.

SriLankan is said to be losing money particularly on its long-haul routes to Europe.

“As a government we have to take a policy decision whether to have a national carrier or a regional carrier,” minister Rambukwelle said.

“As of now, as you say there is a loss, they will re-think, if they have decided to re-fleet it they will think twice and see whether it is viable.”

There were reports that SriLankan was planning to buy Boeing 777 aircraft, but a regional strategy may require more short-haul aircraft, analysts say.

Rambukwelle said other full service a