Sri Lankan airline jettisons cashews after Sirisena’s nut rage

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s hugely loss-making national carrier Sri Lankan withdrew cashews from aircraft after President Maithripala Sirisena’s public outburst that the nuts served onboard were not fit for human consumption.

An airline source said no sooner Sirisena went public with his negative review of Sri Lankan airline’s onboard snacks, the carrier started pulling out stocks of all cashews.

The offending product had been bought from a supplier based in Dubai who provided Indian cashews as Sri Lankan vendors could not meet the demand.

“There had been an issue with a batch of cashews and instructions were out not to serve them,” an official source said. “For some reason, bad nuts had been served.”

The airline has called for fresh bids for onboard nuts to replace the cashews that were offloaded.

“Who authorized the purchase of these nuts which no human being can eat; even a dog will not eat this,” Sirisena said at a public meeting with local farmers in Hambantota on Monday.

Sirisena did not say if he brought up the nut issue with cabin crew of the SriLankan aircraft . However, his criticism was a throw back to an incident in December 2014 when the daughter of the Korean Air owner was similarly displeased with nuts served to her.

Heather Cho, who was also Korean Air’s head of inflight services, flew into a rage when she was served macadamia nuts in a bag and not on a dish. She ordered the plane to return to its gate at Kennedy International Airport after a heated confrontation with cabin crew.  Cho was jailed for one year. (COLOMBO, Sept 12, 2018)

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