Wednesday August 21, 2019

Sri Lanka leaders covet Airbus VIP suite for themselves: ex-President

Mar 01, 2016 15:29 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa alleged that the island's new leaders also wanted a four million dollar kit to convert an aircraft of the national carrier into luxury VIP suite for their own travel, and were making excuses not return it back to the manufacturer.

"These are VIP conversion kits which can be installed after removing several seats in commercial airliners and are supplied free as a complimentary accessory when new commercial passenger planes are ordered," ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa's media unit said in a statement.

"Airbus Industries mentions a value for this conversion kit only to give the customer an idea of the value of the complimentary kit. The customer can’t ask for the money instead of the complimentary accessory."

The new administration said at that the conversion kit, allegedly ordered for ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa's foreign travel had been cancelled saving money for the loss-making state-run carrier SriLankan Airlines.

Rajapaksa said now statements were being made that the VIP units cannot be returned.

"It is not correct to say that the government cannot reverse the order for this VIP kit," the statement said.

"Any customer can turn down the offer of a complimentary accessory if he does not need it.

"It seems to be that the present leaders now wish to avail themselves of the comfort of this VIP kit for their foreign travels and are trying to make excuses for accepting it by saying that the agreement prevented them from turning it down."

Under the Rajapaksa administration a management deal with Emirates for SriLankan Airlines was cancelled and it has made more than 100 billion rupees of losses since then.


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