SriLankan Airlines Chief Says Fleet Expansion Remains Top Priority 

  • Reveals airline’s contract for three A320s, with one already received and six offers for A330s
  • Hopes to finalise acquisitions by year-end 
  • Highlights necessity of wide-body aircraft to service long-haul destinations, overcome operational constraints
  • Cites sovereign rating downgrade poses additional challenge in leasing aircraft 
  • Eyes break even this year with improvement in turnover

SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ashok Pathirage announced yesterday that fleet expansion of the national carrier remains an immediate focus.

Speaking to the media, he disclosed that the airline has contracted for three A320s, one of which is already received. Additionally, the airline has received offers for six A330s and hopes of finalising these acquisitions by the end of the year.

“The Government procurement processes are time-consuming and the global demand for aircraft is escalating. This has been a significant factor contributing to delays in securing additional aircraft,” Pathirage explained.

With the current fleet consisting of 17 aircraft, of three which are grounded, he underscored the importance of adding wide-body aircraft to the fleet to overcome limitations in servicing long-haul destinations such as the UK, France, and Australia.

“The absence of A330s aircraft poses challenges and acquiring them is essential to address these constraints,” he added.

Pathirage also highlighted the reluctance of lessors to take on the risk associated with Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating, posing an additional challenge in the acquisition process.

Despite these challenges, the Chairman expressed optimism about the airline’s financial outlook, noting the airline’s ability to break even this year with expectations of improved turnover.

“We are anticipating a better performance this year, to reach breakeven,” Pathirage added.

(Source: Dialy Mirror)