Jan 10, 2017

Sri Lankan airbus deal with PIA runs into an air pocket

Sri Lankan Airlines A330 airbus deal with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is high unlikely to become reality this month although the CEO Suren Ratwatte has issued a statement claiming that one of the two A330 aircraft was to have been taken over in December and it has been postponed to January,” “The third aircraft will be taken over in March or April, subject to crew availability, he told a local newspaper.”

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.

If the plane crash is an issue for the PIA, then how can they continue negotiations with Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines to acquire four B337-800 aircraft on a dry lease?, a retired top airline official asked. He said that the CEO should inform the treasury about the current financial position of the PIA deal before it is being questioned in parliament.

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 aircraft 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.

Board of Directors of Sri Lankan has directed the CEO Suren Ratwatte to find an amicable solution to the present problem.

Negotiations are now under way between the two airlines to settle the issue; sources closely connected to the Sri Lankan board members said adding that the board has already expressed concern on this matter to the CEO.