21 July, 2024


RTI: SriLankan Airlines Pilots Guild Seeks Information Regarding Airlines’ Downward Spiral

Taking advantage of the country’s Right to Information Act, the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka have written to SriLankan Airlines Information Officer Shiara Sellamuttu seeking full disclosure to several information pertaining to the salaries of CEO Suren Ratwatte, Head of Human Resources Pradeepa Kekulawla, Chief Commercial Officer Siva Ramachandran, besides information on the botched Pakistan International Airline wet lease deal and the cost incurred to train CEO Ratwatte to fly the Airbus 320 aircraft.

Sellamuttu in her reply to the Pilots Guild letter dated the 29th of June 2017 confirmed a day later that the requested information will be furnished in 14 days’ time.Management Pilots During Better Times – Capt. Pujith Jayakody, Capt. Renuke Senanayake, Head of Flight Operations Capt. Rajind Ranatunga and CEO Capt. Suren Ratwatte

Meanwhile Chairman Ajith Dias, who had earlier ordered the airline’s Crew Rostering Department be brought under the Human Resources Department effective the 1st of July 2017, reversed his decision after a meeting that was held last Tuesday between the Head of Flight Operations Capt. Rajind Ranatunga and the airline’s Senior Management Team. This was after the airline’s Board of Directors and Chairman Ajith Dias decided to virtually gift CEO Ratwatte a flying scholarship to follow a full Airbus 320 conversion course which cost the tax payer around US $ 50,000.

Chairman Dias’ feeble attempt in making this change initially was exposed when CEO Ratwatte’s Ground School and Simulator Training was found to be rigged by Instructor Pilots handpicked to specifically conduct his training. Besides Captains Pujitha Jayakody Jnr and Rakhita Wijeratne visiting the office of the CEO at the World Trade Center to conduct personal classes in his plush office, Simulator Instructor Pilot Capt. Mohan Pragasam’s failure to document the ‘tail strike’ CEO Ratwatte was involved in during his training caused serious safety concerns. SriLankan Airline’s management pilots specifically offer contracts to medically condemned and pilots well over the retirement age to conduct Ground, Simulator and Flying classes as instructors and examiners and use them to their advantage. Not wanting to compromise their sole source of income, management pilots are then easily passed despite causing serious errors at times with a mild slap on their wrists. This was exposed by Colombo Telegraph after the CEO’s Secretary contacted the airline’s Crew Scheduling Manager Nalaka de Zoysa who ordered that the scheduled Line Flying Instructor Capt. Amjath Murad Shafeek be replaced by Capt. Ranga Amadoru who CEO Ratwatte had also handpicked to have him cleared to fly the A320 aircraft. It was later revealed that CEO Ratwatte was reluctant in flying with Instructor Pilot Capt. Amjath Murad Shafeek, a no nonsense check pilot who would even fail the CEO if his check flight was below par.

After Colombo Telegraph’s expose, CEO Ratwatte subsequently requested for annual leave midway through his training, stating he was stressed and wished to visit Melbourne Australia in order to spend time with his family. However it was noted that the CEO’s request was made after he was informed that he had been re-scheduled to complete two Line Flying Checks with Capt. Amjath Murad Shafeek on the 9th of July 2017 to Trichy and 12th of July 2017 to Trivandrum.

In other news reaching Colombo Telegraph through reliable sources it has been highlighted that Capt. Pujitha Jayakody the ‘shoplifter’ wanted in connection for theft in Singapore, has now refused to comply with two rostered duties scheduled to fly to the Lion City.

Capt. Jayakody is reported to have swapped one of those duties with a fellow pilot and has reported sick for his second scheduled duty.

Capt. Jayakody during his absorption into the national carrier with the merge of Mihin Lanka last year, had given Chairman Dias his assurance that he was in the clear to fly into Singapore. In a submitted letter addressed to Chairman Dias he had stated that there was no imminent threat or warrant issued for his arrest into Singapore.

However Colombo Telegraph has now contacted government authorities in Singapore and is awaiting confirmation on the clarity pertaining to this incident.

Meanwhile three First Officers of SriLankan Airlines visiting Barristas the famous coffee shop chain partly owned by Chairman Ajith Dias and SriLankan cricketer Aravinda De Silva had been privy to witnessing CEO Ratwatte engrossed in conversation with the now sacked pilot Capt. Sujith Jayasekara.
Colombo Telegraph also earlier reported as to how CEO Ratwatte singled out Capt. Jayasekara and threatened him besides using the ‘fuck’ word several time and threatened his pilot cadre.

On investigating this meeting between the CEO and the sacked pilot further it was highlighted that CEO Ratwatte had requested Capt. Jayasekara to drop his filed case against the airline due to his unfair dismissal for an undisclosed sum of money. This was as it is confirmed that Capt. Jaysekara is due to be re-instated into his flying job due to the timely intervention of President Maithripala Sirisena after the Board of Directors and the CEO had made a mockery into his alleged refusal to complete a breathalyzer test prior to his departure to Bangkok in August 2016. The airline having permitted Capt. Jayasekara to continue with the operation of the flight despite the breathalyzer refusal, then flew him and his First Officer down to Colombo and charged them for their refusal to comply with the pre-flight breathalyzer procedure.

Fighting his case, Capt. Jayasekara went on to prove as to how the airline was then conducting a flawed breathalyzer procedure, besides highlighting how the Management of SriLankan Airlines manipulated this entire incident to have him terminated on falsified evidence. (Chamindri Karannagoda)

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Latest comments

  • 9

    “Downward spiral” happened to Mihin Lanka earlier – established by Sajin Vas Goonewardena – a wharf clerk – and which had Gotabaya Rajapakse in a top position.
    Later, a planter – brother of wife of Mahinda Rajapakse – ran Sri Lankan Airlines into bankruptcy.

    If a pilot refuses a breathalyser test, it means he had alcohol in his system above permitted level. He should not have been allowed to fly.
    What is a “flawed brethalyzer procedure” ?
    Why is the President intervening in airline procedure?

  • 0

    For the Week commencing on Sunday 9th July 2017

    Count = 1

  • 4

    I have never flown Sri Lankan Airlines; never will. I love my life – too much.

    • 13

      Typical Sri Lankan’s Response
      No Experience but Knows a Lot

      • 7


        “Typical Sri Lankan’s Response”

        What form of response do you expect from a Lankan; an American?

        “No Experience but Knows a Lot”

        In the age of the world-wide web, before they travel people do research – plug into the experience of others. For example, would you go and stay in a hotel in St Petersburg that has lousy reviews on trip-advisor just to find out first-hand? That wouldn’t be too smart; would it?

        Now, what sort of reputation has Sri Lankan Airlines has “out there?”

        Without informing the passengers, diverting the flight to Harare for CBK to attend some conference.

        Changing the aircraft to bring down a puppy.

        President appointing his BIL who has never run a thing in his life, for no other reason than he is a relative. And he diverting the plane to Singapore to pick him and his entourage.

        Ranil appointing Andos as the chairmen because he is a classmate. Granted, there is some undercurrent from Rajapakse appointees to undermine him.

        I want to fly a professionally run airline; not one that’s run by relatives and friends. If you doubt me, contrast SL airline with that of Singapore.

        And if you think I am lacking in patriotism, I did try to fly the national airline and went to a Lankan travel agent and asked “How is Sri Lankan Airlines?” His answer, “Very good but very unreliable; never on time!” It seems you are fond of “Typical Sri Lankan’s Response.”

        There’s one for you!

  • 6

    Something very obvious from the latest mud slinging seems to be that it is the employees that earn the most at sri lankan are the ones involved. Those who think they are gods gift to the airline something common to both the crew and the pilots is that over 90% have only OL’s. So it is no wonder that these “dickheads” are been manipulated by someone to tar the airline. It is not surprising given their education that they do not understand the damage they are causing to the airline by the blatant lies and half truths interwoven with a sprinkling of truths. If not why is there no sound from the managers of whome most are graduates and degree holders and the rest of the staff? Before they ask for all these figures why not release their individual earnings including allowances and their basic educational qualification so that it would be fare by the reading public. One thing they must keep in mind is that once sri lankan closes none of these overweight idiots will be employed by any other airline. It is true the general public can not be ripped off by this airline, so lets close it down and let the ME airlines take over. Ground handling will keep their jobs, engineering might be ok, kitchen will be ok, HR and Finance will down size, the managers who lose their jobs and having their qualifications will find employment in other companies, which departments will close 100%? It will be the two dickhead departments and the country will make a thumping saving!

    • 1

      Is a pilot worth Rs 2 million a month and a stewardess Rs 500,000 per month? Can the airline afford such pay outs?

      Do we need 300 cock pit crew (pilots) and 1,500 cabin crew for 20 aircrafts when quite a few destinations are round trip flights with less than 3-4 hours one way?

      It is unlikely that most of them could find employment if the airline is closed down or down sized !!

  • 5

    It is surprising to note that Sri Lankan Airlines has agreed to the demands of this employees guild, commencing with the salaries of the senior management. A company run in this manner is doomed.

    The published results indicate a significant reduction in the operating loss in the year 2015/16. This is the primary obligation of the Board of Directors.

  • 7

    The saddest part is that all these rogues come from two schools – Royal and St Thomas’ colleges

  • 2

    In a socially degenerative environment with descending value systems and low moral standards, these types of fiascos should be expected. The national carrier is not alone in mismanagement and corruption, nepotism and foul play.

    Those citizens who opt to fly with their national carrier for purposes of loyalty and nationalistic fervour should also consider their own safety and the risk of destitution of their children. These flaws eventually manifest in a crash, which will be a matter of when, not if..

    • 6

      I do not believe that safety is a concern for anyone flying this airline. They are good and I will always fly them when possible. its just that there are some illiterate dickheads who do not understand the damage they are causing by washing their underwear in public. Looks like they are trying to emulate the blood suckers of the poor (if we can call them doctors)

  • 8

    Save this great airline. Fire the hoodlums at the helm (Management) of this airline and hire people who can run it properly.

  • 7

    A point to ponder,
    Mysterious promotions and overnight increments HR the paradise!
    1. Queen of fraud n pimping services buddhika manage
    2.queen of sexual favourism dulari dahanayaka
    3. King of foul mouth n green dickhead dhanushka de silva
    4.father’s buddy hhr promoted hansini from intern to executive overnight

  • 3

    Will someone seek RTI to find out how much of the downward spiral (vortex?) was caused by the pilots themselves?

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