Sri Lanka state airline to be monitored quarterly

ECONOMYNEXT – The performance of state-run SriLankan Airlines will be monitored quarterly under an International Monetary Fund-backed programme, amid a delay in finding a strategic partner.

Other large state-run enterprises like the Ceylon Electricity Board, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, and Airport and Aviation Services of Sri Lanka have published statements of corporate intent. However, SriLankan Airlines had not, as it was expected to find a strategic partner last year.

Under the IMF programme, its operations will be monitored quarterly.

"The airline has undertaken route and fleet optimization, and now aims to secure a strategic partner and resolve any fiscal contributions to its liabilities," an IMF document said. "During the ongoing negotiation, the airline’s financial performance will be monitored quarterly."

SriLankan Airlines was estimated to have liabilities of 2.8 percent of gross domestic product including lease obligations. Some leases from AerCap were terminated last year at a cost of over $100 million, adding to annual losses.

SriLankan Airlines was systematically run-down during the ousted Rajapaksa regime after terminating a partnership with Emirates accumulating around a billion dollars in losses according to critics.

Some of its foreign loans were guaranteed by the Treasury in the past.

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