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SriLankan Airlines to split business, offer VRS

ECONOMYNEXT – SriLankan Airlines aims to split its operating model, placing its engineering and ground handling units into a separate business from the airline, and reduce staff, its chief executive said.

The national carrier now has 21 aircraft and 6,900 staff and intends not to hire more people for the time being, said Suren Ratwatte, chief executive of SriLankan Airlines and the budget carrier Mihin Lanka.

"We’re working on a VRS (voluntary retirement scheme)," he told a recent forum by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Sri Lanka.

"We’re looking at splitting the business units and hope to put engineering and ground handling into a separate business and allocate staff to those and as we grew them hopefully we can do so without hiring more and maintaining the same staff level."

The airline’s unit costs had dropped along with fuel prices but ticket prices had also fallen.

"We getting more efficiency everyday but retaining them in the form of revenue and profit is more difficult," Ratwatte said.

"My challenge is lowering costs any further is very difficult."  (Colombo/December 04 2015)

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