Mar 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka's national carrier, SriLankan Airlines has indicated to the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) that it was facing significant financial losses.
A member of COPE, United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian, Ravi Karunanayaka has said that the airline had informed COPE last week that it is expected to lose an additional Rs. 34 to 35 billion within the next few years.
The airline made a record loss of 17.18 billion rupees in the 2011/12 financial year, from a loss of 202.3 million rupees a year ago.
The opposition MP has noted that the airline had not indicated any plan to overcome the situation.
According to Karunanayaka, the airline is trying to operate flights to the new Mattala Airport despite current losses.
The UNP MP has added that SriLankan Airlines officials did not have a restructuring plan as well.
"However, when they were asked how they intended to minimize losses, they admitted that they did not have a clear-cut plan, but expected the oil prices to reduce, and the selling price of tickets, to go up, but nothing of a tangible nature," Karunanayaka has revealed.
The parliamentarian noted that the airline has a huge excess of staff, and in his opinion, no hope of recovering.
"The move to operate flights from the new Mattala Airport will only add to their burdens. They are simply making this move because they are asked to do so without any tangible plan in place," Karunanayaka has said.
The CEO of SriLankan Kapila Chandrasena in a recent interview with Reuters has said that under a five-year strategic plan the company would add more routes to India and East Asia to take advantage of rapid economic growth there to make the airline more profitable.