SriLankan Airlines has overpaid for A350-900 aircraft: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – State-run SriLankan Airlines has overpaid for Airbus A350-900 in a controversial deal struck during the ousted Rajapaksa regime, raising questions where the money went, State Enterprises Minister Kabir Hashim said.

The loss-making carrier has been committed to pay 1.4 million US dollars a month for Airbus A350-900 aircraft to aviation lease company AerCap, he said.

Other carriers are leasing them for 900,000 to 1,000,000 dollar a month, he said indicating that SriLankan was paying at least 400,000 dollars (58 million rupee) a month extra.

SriLankan has to pay lease premiums for 12 years, Hashim said.

SriLankan has already cancelled one aircraft paying a 15 million dollar fine

For A330 aircraft leased in recent years SriLankan was also over paying by around 30 percent a month, he said.

Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne said the losses of the SriLankan was being borne by the ordinary people through their taxes.

But large number of foreigners were travelling on the airlines.

SriLankan Airlines started to lose money after its management contract with Emirates was cancelled by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother-in-law was appointed as Chairman, Minister Hashim said.

The government was conducting a forensic audit on transaction made in recent years, he said. (Colombo/July21/2016)





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