An Echelon Media Company
Sunday October 1st, 2023

Sri Lanka airline readying to start scheduled flights in June 01

AFRICAN AIRLIFT: Three SriLankan Airlines discharging supplies at O R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa.

ECONOMYNEXT – State-run SriLankan Airlines is getting ready to resume scheduled flights by June if health authorities give the go head, Chairman Ashok Pathirage said as the carrier is battling a to survive a Coronavirus crisis.

“We are working with Airport and Aviation Services to resume our scheduled commercial flights by the first of June,” Pathirage told an online forum organized by Sri Lanka’s National Chamber of Commerce.

“We can be ready, but it is up to the government and health authorities… they will have to evaluate and tell us when this could be possible.”

SriLankan stopped scheduled flights as airports closed and travel restrictions came in.

Pathirage said airports are gradually opening up. India had just given the nod to resume domestic flights.

“We have to learn to live with this pandemic,” Pathirage said. “I do not think we think this is going to go away in three months.

“We have to take all the important measures and walk with this. We have to think about the economy and the government revenues side.”

Lockdown curfews have brought many economic activities to a halt and the fiscal deficit is expected rise in 2020. The government has selectively let many businesses operate.

The airline is now selling tickets on a few flights to Japan, Hong Kong and London, which are operated to bring back SriLankans or take cargo.

SriLankan is also operating to over two dozen airports carrying cargo from Sri Lanka. It is also carrying cargo for third countries. Last week SriLankan airlifted supplies to South Africa.


SriLankan Airlines outbound flights to London, Tokyo, Hong Kong

Sri Lankan to operate cargo flights to 27 destinations in Coronavirus crisis

Sri Lanka airline airlifts 7mn face masks to South Africa

Sri Lanka has aggressively contact traced and contained infections though the effort was partially de-railed after infected sailors were given leave and allowed to cross district lines during curfews.

Sailors who were involved in contact tracing and quarantine work were also not tested due to reluctance to test anyone outside of existing clusters linked to symptomatic index cases. The gaps have since been closed.

Though Sri Lanka is ahead of many countries in fighting Coronavirus, the island’s economy has been hit by monetary instability which started shortly before the Coronavirus crises.

Sri Lanka printed money and cut rates from late February and cut rates before the pandemic started triggering a currency panic sending the rupee crashing to 200 to the US dollar from 182 to the US dollar before rate cuts and money printing.

However private consumption and credit has fallen after a lockdown curfews reducing demand. After printing money authorities also slapped import controls. (Colombo/May16/2020)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka National Christian Council opposes Online Safety Bill

ECONOMYNEXT – The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) in a statement on the Online Safety Bill, said that the existing legal regime is adequate to deal with instances of harmful speech, making it unjustifiable to enact such “stringent laws”.

The Council called upon the government to withdraw the bill immediately.

The body expressed “deep concern” over the proposed bill, detailing its potential to curtail freedom of speech and how, according to the Council, the piece of legislature is inconsistent with the principles of democracy.

“The bill proposes the establishment of an entity named the Online Safety Commission without provisions to guarantee its independence and impartiality,” the statement said.

Chapter 3 imposes restrictions on online communication of certain statements, many of which are vague and overbroad, leaving room for executive control and the curtailing of legitimate criticism and dissent that are basic features of democracy, the statement said.

“The laws granting wide discretion to the executive and its investigative agencies with expansive reach have been misused in the past.”

The Council said that the bill was not drafted with the process of public consultation and discussion, which might have ensured the bill would be less draconian in nature.

“The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka calls upon the government to withdraw this anti-human rights and anti-democratic bill immediately.” (Colombo/Sep30/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka to implement new vehicle revenue licence issuing system

ECONOMYNEXT – A new system of issuing vehicle licences called eRL 2.0 is to be implemented in 5 provinces, excluding the Western Province, from 3 October onwards.

The new system is to be implemented beginning in the North West, South, North Central, Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces, respectively. The existing vehicle licence issuing system eRL 1.0 will continue to be used in the Western Province.

The issuing of revenue licences islandwide at Department of Motor Traffic head offices and regional branches will be temporarily halted on October 2.

The facility of obtaining vehicle permits online will also be temporarily halted on 6 October till midnight.

The Sri Lanka Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and the Provincial Motor Traffic Departments are working to modernize the current vehicle revenue license issuance system.

The implementation of the new eRL 2.0 system is expected to be an important step in the digitalisation of Sri Lanka. (Colombo/Sep30/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lankan Airlines flights cancelled as aircraft grounded

ECONOMYNEXT – State-run SriLankan Airlines has apologized to passengers who were stranded as multiple aircraft were grounded at the same time.

The airline said it has strict procedures which requires aircraft to be grounded when technical issues are discovered.

“Unfortunately, in this case we suffered a number of groundings at the same time,” the airline said.

“We apologize for the disruption and inconvenience caused and assure all our loyal customers that we are working diligently to minimize such occurrences moving forward.”

The airline said it was booking passengers on other airlines while some have been accommodated at hotels. (Colombo/Sept30/2023)

Continue Reading