SriLankan Airlines needs US$125mn before end March: PM

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – State-run SriLankan Airlines, which ran into heavy sustained losses after its managing partner Emirates was removed by the Rajapaksa regime, needs 125 million US dollars by end March to settle fuel bills and loans, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said.

Wickramasinghe told parliament since 2011 August, the airline had received 375 million US dollars on top of a 520 million US dollar equity injection over 5 years.

The airline now needed another 125 million US dollars (16.6 billion rupees) by March 31 to pay Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and repay loans to the Bank of Ceylon.

Wickramasinghe said he was to meet Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on the matter Tuesday.

In addition to capital injection made through injections of Treasury bonds, SriLankan had floated syndicated loans and bonds abroad with Treasury guarantees.

SriLankan Airlines has suffered 110 billion rupees of losses since Emirates was ousted by the Rajapaksa regime as its managing equity partner.

According to reports former minister Sajin Vass Gunewardene played a role in the ouster. Vass Gunewardene then set up Mihin Air with people’s money, which also started to make losses.