ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s loss making national carrier is aiming to earn a profit of 50 million US dollars, its Chief Executive Officer said, after it incurred a loss of nearly 500 million US dollars in the previous financial year.
“I think the outlook for next year is even stronger,” Richard Nuttall, CEO at SriLankan said in an interview with Channel News Asia.
“Assuming that the world stays the same in the year ahead, we expect Sri Lanka’s economy to rebound and tourism to come back, we are forecasting $50 million profit next year,” he said.
‘The Airlines incurred a whopping loss of 168.6 billion Sri Lanka rupees in the financial year 2021/22 ended in March 31, 2022, compared to the loss of 49.7 billion rupees in the previous year, the Sri Lankan has said in the past.
SriLankan Airlines is one of the 52 loss making state enterprises that the International Monetary Fund had recommended for restructuring. President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government has been considering absorbing the cumulative losses of more than $1 billion and privatizing the national career.
Nuttall said though the currency depreciation did not have any impact on the profitability last year, the country’s short supply of jet fuel hurt the airline.
“So if you look at the year we just had, the year started with the economic challenges in the country in Sri Lanka. We had travel advisories. and the country ran out of jet fuel in July and August. I have never worked for an airline which does not have jet fuel in its home country before,” he said.
“So everything had to stop in India. We lost payload.” (Colombo/June 07/2023)