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SriLankan Airlines rolls out eco-friendly carpets onboard

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In a pioneering move, SriLankan Airlines will become one of the first airlines in South Asia to introduce eco-friendly carpets onboard its aircraft after a successful trial. 

The eco-friendly carpets, sourced from Lantal Textiles in Switzerland, will help SriLankan Airlines reach another milestone in its journey toward a reduced carbon footprint through gradual fuel efficiency improvements.

“We are excited to debut sustainable carpets onboard our aircraft, which brings us a step closer to realizing our long-term plan of making our inflight experience more eco-friendly in tune with contemporary traveller expectations.  We appreciate that travellers are becoming increasingly conscious about making ethical and sustainable lifestyle choices, as do businesses, and SriLankan Airlines is looking forward to embracing even more green solutions in its operations as we go forward,” remarked Maria Sathasivam, Manager Product Development of SriLankan Airlines. 

The carpets are light-weight and assembled from regenerated nylon made of material typically headed for landfill such as abandoned ocean fishing nets better known as ghost nets, aquaculture nylon waste, used carpet waste, used fabric waste and fabric scraps from mills. Besides being a green technology that minimizes landfill waste, it also uses significantly less crude oil, water and energy during production unlike in the manufacture of conventional virgin nylon. 

The carpets’ light weight design will help reduce flight weight and in turn fuel cost. Once the fleet is fitted out with the carpets, SriLankan Airlines’ jet fuel consumption will decrease leading to savings of about LKR 21 million annually. The reduced use of fuel will additionally enable the airline to shrink its yearly carbon footprint by approximately 248.79 tons.  

The airline’s environmental sustainability strategy is multifaceted, with initiatives on carbon footprint and waste reduction; biodiversity conservation; and environmental compliance running parallelly at any given time. SriLankan was the first airline in Asia to introduce ‘Planet Friendly Flights’ back in 2009 and was named the second lowest carbon emitting airline in the Asia-Pacific in 2016 by Business Traveller. SriLankan Airlines’ signature upcycle project, ‘Mathaka,’ beat out 118 other submissions to win the Best Aviation Sustainability Program Award at the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (SMBR) Global Aviation Awards in December 2022.

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Rs. 20 Bn loan lifeline for SMEs

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The government has taken measures to implement a Rs.20 billion credit scheme to revive the micro, small and medium enterprise sector in Sri Lanka.  

Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers has granted its consent to the proposal forwarded by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies Minister to implement a credit scheme to revive the micro, small and medium enterprise sector.

Speaking at the weekly Cabinet media briefing held yesterday at the Government Information Department, Cabinet Spokesman, Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana said the proposed Rs.20 billion will be spent on the entire project which has two components.

“Out of this, Rs.15 billion will be used to strengthen existing and new enterprises and the remaining amount of Rs.five billion will be used to support enterprises under the non-performing loan category.

A significant number of small and medium scale entrepreneurs involved in manufacturing, import, export, tourism, apparel and various other commercial operations have found it very difficult to continue running their enterprises as a result of the economic downturn and the impact of external factors beyond their control.

The Asian Development Bank has agreed to provide working capital support for the Small and Medium Enterprise sector as a relief. The proposed programme is intended to provide credit facilities to existing micro, small and medium scale enterprises for further expansion and recovery of their businesses through licensed commercial banks and licensed specialised banks at concessional interest rates.

(dailynews.lk)

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Won’t be able to offer SriLankan to investors even for free – Minister

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Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday (26) spoke firmly on the national carrier – SriLankan Airlines, stating that the airline’s disruptive employees and tarnished reputation would deter potential buyers in the privatisation process.

Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, he said  “We cannot run an airline with disruptive employees. This is a critical moment for SriLankan Airlines. We cannot afford to entertain employees who fail to handle situations under pressure.”

“The deadline for the Expressions of Interest (EOIs) is set for 5 March and in the present scenario, according to the information I received some of the bidders want to withdraw. With the negative reputation plaguing the airline, we will not be in a position to offer it free-of-charge even,” the minister claimed.

However, SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ashok Pathirage’s views had contrasted starkly with that of Minister de Silva.

The discussion saw a disagreement regarding ground handling. Minister De Silva advocated for immediate privatization of the service, citing shortcomings. Chairman Pathirage, while acknowledging areas for improvement, argued that the lack of aircraft, not ground handling, was the primary issue. He blamed lengthy government procurement procedures for hindering fleet acquisition.

De Silva justified his push for privatization by citing the airline’s struggles and reports of potential bidders withdrawing their interest. While not inherently opposed to privatization, Pathirage emphasized the ongoing process and the lack of control the airline has in the decision.

Meanwhile, trade union representatives commended Pathirage for his leadership whilst blaming political interventions and its past management. 

“We all undoubtedly praise the Chairman for his leadership and unwavering commitment to operate this airline amidst all odds. Neither the employees nor the current management of the SriLankan Airlines are responsible for the cancellations and bad reputation, but the political intervention,” they stated.

They also slammed the former COPE Chairmen and MPs Dr. Harsha de Silva and Dr. Charitha Herath for disrupting the lease procedure of the airline when the aircraft were at a lower price. “They are responsible for all the operational delays the airline is facing at present,” they claimed.

(Excerpts : DailyFT)

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Australia’s United Petroleum enters SL market

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Australia’s United Petroleum has entered into an agreement with the Sri Lankan government to supply petroleum products to the Sri Lankan market.

According to United Petroleum Lanka, Australia’s United Petroleum entered into the relevant agreement with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Power and Energy on Feb 22.

Following the signing of the agreement, United Petroleum is assigned 150 existing fuel stations and also has the right to build 50 new fuel stations in Sri Lanka.

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