Sri Lankan International AirlinesSrilankan International Airlines
It was TPG Capital that was chosen because it had the necessary expertise in reversing ailing airlines, he said. In 1993 TPG purchased Continental Airlines and sold it in 1998 for 10-fold its initial purchase price. Wickramaratne, whose department supervises the company, said that if the talks are successful, TPG will add an international delegation to the airline's executive board.
For more than a year, the Governments have been trying to persuade an international air carrier or a group of international investors to buy a share holding in Sri Lanka, administer it and help the Governments settle the airline's more than 140 billion Sri Lankan ('92 million) sovereign rupee liabilities. Investigations revealed that serious maladministration and bribery had caused the company to incur bad debts.
Nishantha Wickramasinghe, chairwoman of Sri Lanka between 2010 and 2015, was remunerated with 500,000 rubles per months even though she had no skills. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was in power from November 2005 to January 2015. Rajapaksa's sons' favourite project was to issue more than 700 free passes for a Colombo Rally Championship and Motorsport event at Colombo at night.
Mr Weeratunga has escaped from the DPRK since the transfer of the chairmanship in 2015 and is the object of an Interpol detention order. Japapaksa has disavowed that his administration has been plagued by rampant bribery. In 2015, the governing coalition was forced to give 170 million dollars to the autonomous airline AerCap Holdings as a fine for the cancellation of four Airbus A350s ordered by the Rajapaksa family.
Vickramaratne said the airline did not need such a long-haul plane because the vast majority of Sri Lankan departures were relatively brief. In October, Ajith Dias, who was named Sri Lanka's 2015 president, said he had " got into quite a mess" and that measures were being taken to cut the airline's loss, even return "unnecessary aircraft" to landlords.
Sri Lanka, with a 21 plane squadron, has also stopped loss-making Paris and Frankfurt services and is concentrating on more profitable Asian and Middle Eastern itineraries. Most recently, the company made a gain in 2008 when it was led by Abu Dhabi-based airlines Abu Dhabi-based Emirates. In 2010, when Rajapaksa ordered the withdrawal of a Sri Lankan visas issued by Peter Hill, then Sri Lanka's CEO, for refusing to host a policy mission abroad, he withdrew from work.
Emerirates had purchased 40% of the carrier, then known as Air Lanka, for $70 million in 1998. After increasing its share to 43%, Emira finally offered its stock to the Sri Lankan authorities for $53 million. The number of employees in Sri Lanka, which was 5,113 in 2008, rose to 6,987 by 2015, mainly due to politically motivated nominations.
For the year ended 31 March 2016, the carrier recorded a net deficit of 12.6 billion Sri Lanka Rupees, up from a net deficit of 16 billion Sri Lanka Rhodes. Sri Lanka rupee 4 billion in the year before. Harsch Vardhan, president of Starair Consulting, a New Delhi-based aerospace consulting firm, said Sri Lanka is a prime example of how policy intervention and poor governance can ruin an organisation that works well.
"Sri Lanka was a great track record of public-private partnerships that fell prey to the policy of the ego," he said. In order for the carrier to be successful, governance at intergovernmental and interline levels should be courageous and vibrant. "It is my own personal acquaintance with the civil service that if the leader of the state has no clear view and can involve skilled experts with full autonomy, civil society companies will continue to be a burden on the treasury because they become a link to policy sponsorship, favouritism and corrupt practices.
" Employees of the airlines are becoming more and more worried about the safety of their workplaces. Vijitha Herath, a member of the People's Liberation Front MP, says blue-collar employees are worried that the company will be privatized if all other schemes are unsuccessful. Mr. Herath also claimed that the airline's executive committee and executive officers continued to benefit from flamboyant benefits, which included free upgrade from economics to executive school.
"There is no need to distribute such benefits to managers and other employees at a times when Sri Lanka is experiencing its most severe credit crunch," he said. "It needs good stewardship and good governance to guide the executive committee and employees, but the main issue is that there is no good governance.
" Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake said the administration had no plan to privatise the company. "What we are looking at here is the commercialisation of the airlines, which will be built on a commercial alliance or common venture," Karunanayake said.