Beneficiary, SriLankan Airlines more than ever looking for buyers

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SriLankan Airlinesafter making an operating profit for the first time in 15 years, could be an attractive target for acquisition by Gulf-based airlines.

The privatization of Sri Lankan public enterprises has been under discussion for several years and the flagship company SriLankan Airlines is no exception to the rule since with nearly 6,000 employees, the national airline is the largest and more expensive than public companies burdening the coffers of the country facing a historic economic crisis. Thus, SriLankan Airlines is considering the possibility of being taken over by Gulf-based airlines as part of its privatization, as reported by the Emirati media The National. This development is accompanied by the return of the airline to an operating profit after a period of 15 years.

Although no official statement has been made and Gulf-based carriers have yet to show interest, SriLankan Airlines Managing Director Richard Nuttall has hinted that the airline could potentially become a target. attractive regarding its acquisition. According to Nuttall, Gulf carriers, which are Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Riyadh Air or Saudiacould benefit from the airline’s easy access to its Asian neighbor, indiaespecially as SriLankan serves 13 Indian destinations.

It should be noted that SriLankan Airlines belonged to a Gulf carrier for ten years, since Emirates previously owned 40% of SriLankan Airlines until the Sri Lankan government decided to buy all shares of the airline in 2008. This temporary purchase did not prevent the Sri Lankan company from having its accounts all this time in the red, due to corruption and the control of the presidential clan of Rajapaksa brothers.

SriLankan Airlines has reached a major milestone by recording an operating profit of 1.7 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($5.1 million) in the financial year 2022, the first in 15 years. This improvement contrasts with the loss of 8.1 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($25 million) the previous year. Its current fleet (all Airbus) consists of 24 aircraft (5 A320, 2 A320neo, 4 A321neo and 11 A330 (-200 and -300-). In April 2013, it was announced that SriLankan Airlines had obtained government approval to acquire four Airbus A350-900deliverable from 2019, as well as to rent three others but the contracts were canceled due to its financial difficulties.

John Walker Avatar