SriLankan projects profits in upcoming year | Sunday Observer

SriLankan projects profits in upcoming year

7 May, 2023
SriLankan Airlines CEO Richard Nuttall and Chairman Ashok Pathirage
SriLankan Airlines CEO Richard Nuttall and Chairman Ashok Pathirage

“SriLankan Airlines has posted a profit of US$ 3 million in the past 12 months, while these figures are still to be audited, the Airline has essentially broken even for the first time since it was managed by Emirates,” its Chief Executive Officer Richard Nuttall told Sunday Observer Business.

He said that at an operating level the Airline had posted a profit of US $ 100 million. However, they have also had almost US$ 100 million in interest costs to service past debts. If the Airline can find a solution for its debt, SriLankan can become truly profitable.

CEO Nuttall said, “During the C-19 pandemic, we had a delay in the repayment of the money for the engines. Therefore, we had to pay a high interest of 18%.

It took a considerable amount of time to reconcile the issue. Although we came to an agreement and signed the contract, we were not able to get the engines easily from Rolls-Royce. Several A-330 type planes that needed engines can be flown again within the next two weeks.”

Meanwhile at the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) meeting, SriLankan Chairman Ashok Pathirage said very clearly that regardless of the decision to make SriLankan Airlines a public-private partnership or privatised, there is potential for profit in the upcoming year while SriLankan Airlines has generated an operating profit in the past two years, signaling a growth trend.

He outlined to the COPE committee on how the airline can be further managed until a final decision is taken.

“I must remind you that in the past two or three years, we have not received any money from the Treasury. We did not take even one dollar.

We accomplished everything by ourselves. With the money we earn and everyone’s support.

“We did not even seek help from any Government bank, because they were not in a position to help us. We know the reality.

We all know that the airline should be run as a commercial venture. There must be commercial viability here,” Pathirage said.

He said this in the light of the explanations given when the high-level management of the company, including CEO Richard Nuttall was called before the COPE Committee to get an explanation on how the company will be run as a commercial business before deciding the future of the company.