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SriLankan Airlines voted the Leading International Airline at Maldives Travel Awards 2016

Posted on 04 December 2016 by TSL


(From L-R) Mr. Roshan Madurawala, Country Manager – Ace Aviation Services Maldives, GSA of SriLankan Airlines and SriLankan Airlines, Area Manager Maldives Mr. Sujeewa Rodrigo with the award

(From L-R) Mr. Roshan Madurawala, Country Manager – Ace Aviation Services Maldives, GSA of SriLankan Airlines and SriLankan Airlines, Area Manager Maldives Mr. Sujeewa Rodrigo with the award

Colombo November 24, 2016:  Sri Lanka’s National Carrier and oneworld member, SriLankan Airlines bagged the Leading International Airline title yet again at the prestigious Maldives Travel Awards, recently.

Viewed as SriLankan’s extended home market, the Airline currently connects the Maldivian capital to its extensive route network 21 times a week. On December 1, 2016, the Airline will expand its operations to Gan Island of Addu Atoll, becoming the first and the only international Airline to serve the spectacular destination.

SriLankan Airlines, Area Manager Maldives Mr. Sujeewa Rodrigo upon receiving the award, said “We are truly delighted to receive this award yet again. This would not have come at a better time than now, as we add the second Maldivian destination to our connectivity map. As an airline it is our duty to provide our passengers with convenient connections across the globe and an award of this nature is evidence that we have surpassed expectations and made a significant contribution to tourism in the Maldives.” 

The Award ceremony, held at Olhuveli Beach Resort & Spa, Maldives is organized annually by the Maldives Association of Travel Agents & Tour Operators (MATATO), with the aim of enhancing service standards of the Maldivian tourism industry.  Every year, the patrons and passengers vote for their most preferred travel and hospitality services providers for the acclaimed titles.





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SriLankan Airlines bans ‘Samsung Note 7’ on all aircraft

Posted on 18 October 2016 by TSL

UL TodayColombo, October 18, 2016: Sri Lanka's national carrier, SriLankan Airlines has imposed a total ban on the carriage and usage of ‘Samsung Note 7’ on board the SriLankan and Mihin Lanka aircraft with immediate effect.

The ban comes into effect subsequent to the series of incident reported on explosions of the device when connected to power.

With the Airline's prime priority being the safety and well-being of passengers, the Airline took immediate action to advise the passengers against the carriage and usage of the device on board and prepared cabin crew members to assist passengers.

With the imposing of a complete ban the Airline has taken measures to educate the passengers through posters displayed at check-in counters and pre-boarding announcements.
The Airline has also a procedure in place in case a device is found on-board.


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SriLankan Airlines, Galle Face Hotel and Ebert Silva Holidays join together – Making dreams come true on World Children’s Day

Posted on 10 October 2016 by TSL

childrens-day1Colombo, October 10 2016: Forty children whose parents sacrificed their lives for the nation or became disabled while they were members of the armed forces, were given a very special World Children’s Day indeed, as three pioneering organisations in Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism industry joined hands once again in a unique corporate social responsibility effort.

SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier, Galle Face Hotel, one of the country’s most famous heritage hotels, and Ebert Silva Holidays, a pioneer in travel and tourism, created an undoubtedly unforgettable day for the children and their family members on 1st October, for the second consecutive year.

The day-long event included a ride from Colombo to Katunayake on board Ebert Silva Holidays’ double decker busses, a tour of Bandaranaike International airport with lunch and movies on board an aircraft, and a ride back to Colombo for a sumptuous tea party at Galle Face Hotel.

The day started with the kids gathering at Galle Face Hotel. They then hopped on to two of Ebert Silva Holidays famed red open-deck double deckers, decorated with colourful balloons and ribbons. With the children waving cheerfully to the gathered crowds, the double deckers rumbled out of Galle Face Hotel. It was a thrilling ride with children clapping and singing to music and treats served on board. Threading their way through Colombo’s streets that Saturday morning, they headed to Bandaranaike International Airport where they were greeted by beaming SriLankan staff.

The children received an interesting tour of the airport, experiencing the procedures of checking in as passengers. Then with great excitement the kids boarded a state of the art Airbus A330 and had the treat of viewing a movie of their choice with lunch being served on board by smiling SriLankan staff. The excited kids also had the rare opportunity of getting a view of the cockpit, and airline staff briefed them on various aspects of air travel.

After an unforgettable experience they boarded the double deckers again to return to Colombo. Back at the Galle Face Hotel they were greeted with a welcome drink and cold towels, and a fantastic tea party had been prepared for them to the famed standards of the hotel. There was a sumptuous range of food items in true Galle Face Hotel style, topped off with a magic show and an amazing breakdance performance, both by talented SriLankan Airlines staff members, musical entertainment by a three-piece band, and gifts for all. The spread of food included everything kids love – marshmallows, ice cream, chocolates, pasta, pizza, etc.

A very special moment took place when medals were presented to the children in honour of their parents’ supreme sacrifice. Many of the children’s mothers became very emotional at this demonstration of love and care on behalf of the nation, as it was an acknowledgement of the sacrifice of their husbands.


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SriLankan Airlines bans use and charging of Samsung Galaxy Note7 for safety reasons

Posted on 15 September 2016 by TSL

UL-LOGO52fe5512e6e22.pngColombo, September 15. 2016: SriLankan Airlines has completely banned the use or charging of Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note7 smartphone on board all its flights with immediate effect until further notice, following Samsung suspending its sales in the wake of several incidents of phone batteries catching fire.

The ban applies to turning on or charging any Samsung Galaxy Note7 on board,or shipping it in checked-in luggage and cargo. Passengers are also being advised of the ban through on-board announcements and notices at airport check-in counters.

Several other airlines and aviation authorities have also announced similar bans. The international Air Transport Association (IATA) of which SriLankan Airlines is a member and United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have also issued directives banning the use and charging of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on flights.

The FAA in a statement said: “In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.”

Samsung has postponed the launch of the Galaxy Note7 in India and a statement on its website said: “In response to recently reported cases of the new Galaxy Note7, we conducted a thorough investigation and found a battery cell issue. To date there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market. However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have delayed sales of Galaxy Note7 in India.”


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SriLankan Airlines enters into wet-lease agreement with PIA

Posted on 11 August 2016 by TSL

SriLankan Airlines enters into wet-lease agreement with PIA

COO PIA Bernd Hildenbrand,  re-branded UL flight background.

COO PIA Bernd Hildenbrand,  re-branded UL flight background.

Colombo, August 11 2016: SriLankan Airlines has entered into a “wet lease” agreement with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), owned by the government of Pakistan, whereby an Airbus A330-300 aircraft will be leased by SriLankan to PIA on Aircraft Crew Maintenance & Insurance (ACMI) basis.

This means that the aircraft will remain under SriLankan registry and be flown by SriLankan/s pilots on behalf of PIA, on the “Premier Service” routes between Pakistan and the UK for a period of three months.

The inaugural flight of this operation will take place on 14th August 2016, from Islamabad to London, following a brief ceremony headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif. The government of Pakistan and PIA have invited a delegation from Sri Lanka, including Hon. Kabir Hashim the subject Minister for the airline to attend this event.

Currently, SriLankan is in negotiations with PIA with regard to leasing a total of three aircraft on “dry-lease”, without crew, in the coming months. This is part of the company’s “red to black” campaign to bring the airline back to profitability by exploring all commercially viable avenues.


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SriLankan Airlines continues to re-structure and review its network

Posted on 27 June 2016 by TSL



Colombo June 27, 2016: SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, will be suspending its operations to Paris and Frankfurt, from winter 2016.  Accordingly, the last flights between Frankfurt and Colombo (UL 553/554) will be operated on October 30, while UL 563/564 of November 6, 2016 will conclude the operations between Paris and Colombo.

The Government of Sri Lanka has made it clear that it will no longer fund continuing losses. Airline sources said that the route network is being continuously evaluated in the context of changing market dynamics in order to maximize on sustainable routes which bring in more contribution towards the bottom line.

While the drop in fuel prices has contributed to the airline’s improved performance, this benefit has been significantly eroded with the airline’s revenues declining for the F/Y ending 2015/16 compared to the previous year. Addition of capacity to the Colombo market particularly by Middle Eastern carriers, accompanied by a drop in airfares in European markets has seen the contribution of the European network drop in comparison to the other routes. This has been further exacerbated by the depreciation of the Euro against the Dollar. Airline sources further stated that there were no short term signs of recovery in yields.

SriLankan operates daily flights to both Doha and Abu Dhabi and has a strong code share relationship with Etihad and Qatar through which it will continue  to provide onward connectivity to the European destinations it has been serving via Paris and Frankfurt.

London will remain the Airline’s gateway to Europe, where the Airline has deployed its state-of-the-art A330-300 fleet for daily non-stop operations, providing a greater comfort and an enhanced flying experience to its passengers.

The Indian Sub-continent, the Middle East and the Far East will remain SriLankan’s focal markets, where the Airline will continue to explore its potential for expansion.


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SriLankan Airlines gives travel bloggers a thrilling experience at BIA

Posted on 09 June 2016 by TSL

Official Airline Sponsor TBCasia 2016.

SriLankan Airlines gives travel bloggers a thrilling experience at BIA.

Collage ULColombo, June 09 2016: In yet another of its numerous efforts to promote Sri Lanka as a global tourism destination of choice, SriLankan Airlines welcomed participants to the Cinnamon Travel Bloggers Conference Asia & Awards 2016 by giving more than 40 bloggers a thrilling experience on the flight deck of an Airbus A330 Full Flight Simulator at Bandaranaike International Airport.

The bloggers and their families experienced simulated landings at airports of their choice around the world such as Shanghai and Katmandu, in the 100% realistic Full Flight Simulator including the thrill of sitting in the pilots’ seats. The airline operates two Full Flight Simulators at BIA for training of its own and other airlines’ pilots in flying A330 and A320 aircraft.

SriLankan Airlines is the Official Airline of Cinnamon TBCasia 2016, which is organized by Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts in collaboration with the Professional Travel Bloggers Association. More than 60 travel bloggers from around the world are attending the event from 2-7 June at the Cinnamon Lakeside in Colombo.

The bloggers, who are experts in a wide range of social media, shared their feedback and advice on how Sri Lanka’s travel trade and SriLankan Airlines can boost global awareness of the unique experiences awaiting travelers.

“Service on board SriLankan Airlines was definitely amazing. It’s quite clear that SriLankan focuses very heavily on customer service. The food on board the SriLankan flight he took from Frankfurt was excellent, and the inflight entertainment was also great. But Sri Lanka should market itself more as a destination in France,” said Kylia Matjabo, a travel blogger from Paris.

“It was so nice to fly direct to Colombo from Paris. Many airlines flying to Asia from Europe have a layover in the Middle East which can be very tiring,” added Greg Snell, a travel blogger from Toronto, Canada.

The bloggers were also given a presentation on SriLankan Airlines’ wide range of products and services, before being treated to some fine cuisine by SriLankan Catering.

Antoine Roozen, who accompanied his wife Monika, a professional travel blogger based in Sweden, said his family thoroughly enjoyed the simulator experience. “It’s rare to get an opportunity to visit a cockpit nowadays and going on the simulator was exciting, especially for the kids,” he said.

“Sri Lanka certainly provides a fantastic experience for any traveler. Very pleasantly surprised by Sri Lanka. We visited Kandy and Nuwara Eliya and found them both to be extremely charming, especially ‘Little England’,” said Dr. Mathew McDougall, CEO of Digital Jungle, who was one of the resource persons for the conference.

Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts provided participants in the conference with many enchanting experiences of Sri Lanka during their stay, including visits to Anuradhapura, Habarana, Sigiriya, Minneriya National Park, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Galle.


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SriLankan Airlines joins landmark global crackdown on illegal wildlife trade

Posted on 06 June 2016 by TSL

Colombo, June 6, 2016: SriLankan Airlines on Thursday 2nd June joined a landmark worldwide drive to crack down on the illegal global trade in wildlife that has brought many of the world’s rare species close to extinction.

SriLankan was among several international airlines which pledged their full support for the ʻUnited for Wildlifeʼ initiative, at the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on 2nd June in Dublin, Ireland. The initiative by major organisations involved in conservation is being supported by the global transportation industry.

Captain Suren Ratwatte, CEO of SriLankan Airlines who signed on behalf of Sri Lanka’s National Carrier, said: “SriLankan Airlines has long been a pioneer of conservation within the global air transport industry, with ground-breaking initiatives such as our ‘Planet Friendly Flights’ as far back as 2009, and our own extensive conservation efforts are driven by our ‘Green Team’. We are delighted to join this valuable initiative which we have no doubt will significantly reduce trafficking in illegal species and animal products, and we hope this initiative will help to bring many species back from the verge of extinction.”

The initiative was created by the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry of the UK, bringing together seven of the world’s most influential wildlife protection organisations – Conservation International (CI), Fauna & Flora International (FFI), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), WWF-UK, and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), with The Royal Foundation.

IATA has been inspirational in gathering many aviation related organizations towards this global initiative, in a media release, IATA noted: “The interconnected air transport network is being exploited by criminal gangs to smuggle animals or their products from the killing field to the market place. The air transport industry can help stop this trade by providing additional intelligence to enforcement authorities about suspicious shipments.” IATA is the trade association of global airlines, Airports Council International the association of the world’s international airports, and the African Airlines Association.

Through this initiative, airlines have already begun cooperating more closely with global and national law enforcement authorities and international conservation organizations such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to share information and intelligence on the illegal trade, and also enhance airline staff training, technological improvements, and resource sharing.

An IATA Environment Committee Wildlife Taskforce has been set up to monitor progress of the initiative, and IATA has also joined a separate USAID Partnership on Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES).


CEO IATA                                                                                                                                                                       CEO SriLankan Capt. Suren Ratwatta signing the agreement.


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SriLankan Cargo smashes record for cargo handling at BIA Cargo Centre!

Posted on 18 May 2016 by TSL

SriLankan AirlinesColombo, May 18 2016: SriLankan Cargo (www.srilankancargo.com), the freight handling arm of SriLankan Airlines, set a new record for the amount of tonnage handled during a single month at the Cargo Centre of Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), with 21,743 metric tonnes in the month of March 2016.

SriLankan Cargo is the sole cargo handler at BIA, where it deals with cargo of all airlines that operate to Sri Lanka’s main international airport, including imports, exports and transhipments. The figure surpassed the previous highest amount of 20,040 tonnes, achieved a year ago in March 2015.

Significantly, this has exceeded the design capacity of the SriLankan Cargo Centre, which is 20,833 tonnes per month.

In 2015 the SriLankan Cargo Centre set a new record for total freight handled at BIA during a single year  – 212,277 tonnes, which included 35,877 tonnes of transhipment cargo. This surpassed the 199,651 tonnes handled in 2014.

Chamara Ranasinghe, Head of Cargo at SriLankan Airlines, said: “We are delighted to report that  our forecast indicate 2016 will be another record setting year for SriLankan Cargo. Our Cargo Centre has already handled 56,780 tonnes during the first three months of this year, which is the highest total that we have seen during the January to March period during any year, surpassing the 52,169 tonnes in the comparable period last year.”

Janaka Munasinghe, Senior Manager Worldwide Cargo Operations, said: “These achievements are the result of sustained teamwork and sheer hard work by the entire team at SriLankan Cargo. We are constantly searching for innovative methods to increase our high levels of efficiency and provide an even better service to our customers around the world.”

SriLankan’s Cargo Centre, which takes great pride in its high level of handling reliability which borders on 100%, recently received an Award of Appreciation from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce for its steadfast role in supporting the nation’s economic activities. The state of the art 25,000 square metre Cargo Centre has dedicated areas for imports, exports and transshipments, sophisticated facilities for cold storage, animal handling and dangerous goods , CCTV facilities to secure all goods, a high-security area for valuables and a 24-hour customer care centre. On-line tracking through SkyChain allows customers to track their shipments in real time right up to their destinations.

SriLankan Cargo operates to all of SriLankan Airlines’ 99 destinations in 47 countries on its all-Airbus fleet of A320, A321 and A330 aircraft. It also operates a dedicated freighter service in South Asia  providing scheduled flights to cities in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,  with charter operations to many other cities throughout the region.

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SriLankan Airlines records an improved performance for last Financial Year

Posted on 06 May 2016 by TSL


SriLankan AirlinesColombo May 6 , 2016: SriLankan Airlines announced that it has recorded a significantly improved performance at the close of the Financial Year ending 31st March 2016 (based on un-audited financials) compared to the previous year – despite several legacy issues still remaining unresolved.

Given the complexity of the business these issues are being addressed in a responsible manner together with the Shareholder, as part of the restructuring programme of the airline.

Without ‘one-off’ extraordinary payments related to restructuring activities, the Airline’s Group Loss stood at LKR 8.9 billion – a 46% improvement for the current period compared to the previous year.   

While the steep drop in fuel prices contributed to the Airline’s improved performance, this benefit was significantly eroded with its revenue declining 4% year on year to LKR 115.9 Billion in 2015/16 from LKR 120.4 Billion in 2014/15. Addition of capacity to the Colombo market by other airlines, accompanied by a dramatic drop in airfares in certain markets largely contributed to the declining revenues. The performance was further impacted by the depreciation in the exchange rate compared to the previous year.

As at 31st March 2016, the National Carrier’s debt stood at LKR 64.92 Billion against the previous year of LKR 56.92 Billion.  A capital infusion of USD 150 Million (for SriLankan and Mihin Lanka) in the National Budget presented to the Parliament in November 2014, and approved, was not included in the Interim Budget presented in March 2015. The National Budget presented in November 2015 did not contain it either. The finance charges of the Airline stood at LKR 5.6 billion, for the current year an increase of 16% from last year. Due to the non-receipt of the capital infusion of USD 125 Million, additional bank borrowing had to be taken which resulted in an additional interest charge for the financial year of LKR 1.73 billion.

Notwithstanding these challenges, the Airline has been able to make significant savings in controllable cost items which have also contributed to the improved performance. This has been due to increased focus on and scrutiny of costs across all areas.  The Airline’s staff have come forward to make constructive suggestions towards cost saving initiatives and also worked hard at negotiating cost reductions with vendors.  Given market realities, revenue enhancements   are going to be challenging. Therefore the Airline will continue to work on costs, streamlining processes and improving productivity without which the Airline cannot achieve financial self- sufficiency.  

The Restructuring Plan which was approved by the Cabinet last year recognised that, for a sustainable future, the Airline needed to address certain fundamental problems.  Re-structuring the fleet and addressing the issue of the A350-900 aircraft which had been ordered by the previous management was a priority. These aircraft are both inappropriate and too expensive for the Airline, given the current operating environment and the excessive lease costs. The Airline is exploring all options in this regard and hopes to continue with the acquisition of more narrow body aircraft, while delaying or otherwise changing the future wide body aircraft already committed.  These negotiations are now at an advanced stage and the Airline has been continuously interacting with the shareholder on this matter.

The Restructuring Plan also recognised that significant route rationalisation was required given the recent unprecedented shift in the marketplace. However, the Airline took a measured and phased approach towards route rationalisation, to ensure that any decisions would not have a negative impact on the tourism industry. Therefore all changes are taking place in a phased manner with adequate notice being given to both the travel trade and our customers.

At the same time, given the magnitude of the inherited adverse financial situation, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Enterprises have reviewed the funding requirements for the immediate future.  The Ministry has advised the Airline that within the next six months it intends to re-structure the financials (including the outstanding debt) of the Airline.

The Shareholder has also indicated that it is exploring the option of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the Company and has appointed a Special Committee to provide direction on the broader expectations of the GoSL. The Airline will be working closely with the Committee, and under its guidance implementing certain steps necessary to prepare for a possible PPP. The Airline expects that in this process, a clear path to a sustainable, long term future which would be in the interest of all the stakeholders, will be identified and implemented within the next six months.


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May 5, 2016



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