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Ashok Pathirage appointed Chairman of SriLankan Airlines

ECONOMYNEXT- Top businessman Ashok Pathirage has been appointed chairman of the national carrier SriLankan Airlines, he said.

Pathirage told Economynext on Monday that he was officially appointed as chairman.

Newly appointed President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said that he has set high bars for appointments to state-owned enterprises such as SriLankan through a committee, in order to turn them into profitable businesses.

Pathirage is the chairman and managing director of the Softlogic Group, which operates in Sri Lanka’s retail, healthcare, financial, technology, leisure and automobile industries.

Softlogic’s Asiri Hospitals is Sri Lanka’s largest private-owned hospital chain, and the retail business has the largest portfolio of foreign and local lifestyle brands.

SriLankan Airlines is in dire straits, posting a 41.7 billion rupee loss for the 2019 financial year, up from an 18.6 billion rupee loss a year earlier, with retained losses reaching 223.5 billion rupees.

The airline has won numerous awards for service standards, but rising competition from Middle Eastern and budget carriers, as well as past mismanagement had led to the airline’s losses.

A Presidential Commission had investigated the losses and poor management practices at the airline. (Colombo/Dec16/2019)

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