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Jan 27, 2017

Sri Lankan Airlines team flies to Dubai to settle A 330 Aircraft deal with PIA

High level talks to arrive at a settlement on the A-330 aircraft deal impasse between Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Sri Lankan Air lines will take place in Dubai, credible official sources said.

A high powered Sri Lankan Air lines official delegation will leave for Dubai with in the next two days to attend the meeting with their PIA counterparts to reach a consensus on the current dead lock in the aircraft deal.

It was unclear as to who is going to represent the Sri Lankan Air lines during the consultations and compromise talks with the PIA Chief Finance Officer, Legal officer and several officials in Dubai to reach a consensus on out standing issues.
But the final decision on the A-330 aircraft deal would have to be taken by the Pakistani Government, sources said.

PIA) is still to fulfill its obligations in taking over the A330 aircraft under wet lease before February 10 and make the delayed due payment as an installment for the first a330 aircraft which was already acquired by the PIA in August last year, credible official sources said.

The acquiring of two A330 aircraft from Sri Lankan Airlines and the lease payment were not even mentioned at the recent PIA board meeting, top officials confirmed.
Top PIA officials were tight lipped on the present situation of the deal which was bungled by Sri Lankan Air lines CEO Suren Ratwatte, they reiterated.

Making the matters worse, CEO Ratwatte has made a statement to a week end newspaper claiming that one of the two A330 aircraft was to have been taken over in December and it has been postponed to January.

Ratwatte has made a lie thinking the people of this country fools as everyone knows that , PIA has agreed to take over the second A330 Aircraft on February 10, in accordance with lease agreement.

“The third aircraft will be taken over in March or April, subject to crew availability,” he told a local news paper recently.

The reasons given by the Sri Lankan Airlines CEO for the delay in taking over the two planes by the PIA and also the delay in payments for the first aircraft were the PIA plane crash on a domestic flight on December 7and, bank holidays in the United States over Christmas.

Expressing shock on this explanation, Sri Lanka’s aviation experts noted that no one can believe such shameful public statement made by a responsible CEO of the country’s national career.

“We are now in the latter part of January, so this CEO should make a public statement clarifying his utterances as to whether the PIA has made any arrangement to acquire the second aircraft or not .as his dead line is on January 31, But not February 10,” an official closely monitoring the deal said.

He noted that PIA or Sri Lankan officials were completely in the dark about the deal and there was a doubt about the PIA’S commitment on this deal as the airline is facing severe financial difficulties and the airline is struggling even to pay salaries of the staff.

Sources say PIA, which has been a loss-making entity in recent times, came under criticism by its Board of Directors for spending extra on the new aircraft.
PIA negotiators have informed the Sri Lankan Airlines CEO Suren Ratwatte to revise the wet lease agreement with a discount on the previous aircraft acquired by them and enter into dry lease agreement with other two air craft at a discount payment, an official said.

Pakistan Airline was not able to make sufficient money from the aircraft operation and hence it has requested to discount rental payment for second aircraft as well for acquisition on dry lease.

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