18 October, 2019

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Sri Lankan Airlines CEO Resigns

Sri Lankan Airlines Chief Executive Officer Kapila Chandrasena tendered his resignation yesterday.

 Kapila Chandrasena

Kapila Chandrasena

The CEO’s resignation comes in the midst of the ongoing probe carried out by Lawyer J.C.Weliamuna and his team which was ordered by the Aviation Ministry that commenced three weeks ago.

Worried Senior Managers have begun whispering that the CEO’s departure is expected to signal the end too for their remaining two Chiefs and Senior Managers who worked in tandem with him in plummeting the airline incurring a mind boggling amount of approximately Rs.120 Billion.

According to the disgruntled public the sustenance of the airline was made through the money of the people of the country and channeled through the treasury where the Senior Management Team (SMT) enjoyed the benefits of high salaries and amazing benefits.

The news of the CEO’s departure was first intimated to a group of his Senior Managers who had congregated for a meeting at the World Trade Center around 3 pm and then subsequently at 4:16 pm local time an official heart wrenching email titled a ” Good Bye Message from CEO” was sent to the Senior Management Staff of the airline informing them of his sudden departure.

The CEO’s resignation has come barely three weeks since the Aviation Ministry ordered a full investigation on the airline’s malpractices which is currently being carried out and led vigorously by Lawyer J.C.Weliamuna and his team.

The ‘Interim Report’ of the these findings is set to be presented by Weliamuna to the Prime Minister Ranil Wickreeasinge today with the comprehensive report to be finally submitted on the 31st March 2015.

As expected, It was only a matter of time before the CEO’s resignation was to be submitted as it was common knowledge to all within the airline of how he and his specially appointed Senior Management Team in the Commercial Department was blatantly sinking the airline.

What eager employees of the national carrier now wait to see is if the immediate tier below him would also tender their resignations and leave before the full investigation is over.

The ‘Chief Strategic Officer’, four recently created and appointed ‘General Managers’ and his close group of haphazardly promoted ‘Grade 10’ and ‘Grade 11’ managers within the Commercial Department are now those who may be vary of their future in the airline.

Controversies surrounding many deals where “Abuse of Power”, “Leasing and Purchasing of Aircraft”, “External Interference” and “Major Contracts” were openly committed by the CEO and his fearless group of the Commercial Department’s Senior Management appointees portrayed that they were at times untouchable.

Await a comprehensive report on who’s who in the Commercial Department who danced to the string pulling of the CEO all this time , where controversies surrounding a colossal of amount of online/offline passenger related deals and much much more will be uploaded on Colombo Telegraph soon.

 

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Latest comments

  • 20
    0

    We need to go further than changing of the old corrupt and inept guard. We must keep questioning if a perennially loss making enterprise such as a national airline is really needed. What are the pros and what are the cons. What earthly benefit does the common man enjoy by having to bank roll a loss making enterprise? Can someone please tell me why we should not allow the commercial sector to step in and run the entire show?

  • 9
    4

    As Sarath De Alwis, a former Snr. Executive of the Airline opined, we can’t operate as is. We must pull out of Europe and be a Regional Carrier.
    If the European operation needs to be maintained for Inbound Tourism purposes, then the Tourist Board and the Travel Industry should fund the operation.

    Btw, the Airline has had it’s CEO’s and Chairman’s come and go. They are the extension of the prevailing ruling party.

    As Govt’s go, This is the second investigation the Airline is exposed to. CBK disliked the airline with a passion. She hardly flew it.

  • 8
    5

    To BBS Rep:
    I do agree with your comments up to a point. However, you seem to have forgotten that Sri Lankan Airlines was profitable, yes it made a profit, while it was managed by Emirates. Who scrapped that agreement? I think we all know the answer to that. Either we need a partnership like that or we need to scrap it, just like you say. Then again, if we follow the logic of “the benefit of the common man”, we will have to scrap a lot of things, like expressways, which cannot be unbuilt once they are built.

    • 1
      1

      The national carrier has always been : It’s a trojan for an agricultural economy.
      Sri Lankan’s are know to boast like calling passa king so he took you for suckers stole the dagger and carried the Dorje which is mahayanaB – spoke sihala to God Buddha only.
      I dont know your traffic and transport aspect but it can easily be computer stimulated with different modules- length of duration of time to value.
      Greatness is measured in value terms not experience or qualifications.

      We have seen not just virgin grow easy jet etc.( if the purchases are made at the airport duty free that weight is never added in the EU for the budget airline of 10kg)

      budget no-frills airline, like AirAsia, (your main tourist from UK are the working class)the other younger executives take long weekend trips to Male/Bali not Lanka.

      Now Everyone Can Fly (even the baggage boys were given the opportunity to learn)

      Everyone play football (it’s pays than croak_et the game where one speaks nonsense)

      Common problems for common people.
      Common sense for middle class
      Nonsense for aristocrats of croak_et.

      Unless you want to stick to Shakespearean strategy and tragedy- never mind child we will sell more guns our main export.

  • 14
    7

    Kapila Chandrasena should have gone long time ago.He was the most corrupt CEO the company ever had.He openly and blatantly violated every norm using his position and built a ring around him with stooges whose unquestionable loyalty to HIM was ensured through arbitrary promotions.This is the man who made deals through every possible area,from lease of Aircraft,Outsourcing critical Commercial functions and even appointment of General Sales Agents.

    His departure alone would not help.All those who aided and abetted him in his nefarious activities should also be accounted for.To begin with the Chief Strategic Officer a position that was merely created to favour an individual who is responsible for most of the malaise at Commercial Division.

    If one scrutinizes the positions created/promotions made to General managers/Snr.managers and some G10 Managers one would find almost all post holders are misfits whose existence were purely based on their blind allegiance to Kapila Chandrasena and/or Manique Gunasekera rather than their expertise on the Job.While most of them got their promotions overnight there were few who even went behind previous Chairman as well to get their promotions to Grade 11 when the company norms did not qualify them to hold such positions.All that they could have claimed as their right to hold such positions would have been the responsibility of handling mundane issues such as Government Travel and coordination with other Statutory Boards

    It this Airline is to come out of this rut a Professional must now be installed as the CEO but certainly with proven capabilities unlike of Peter Hill or even Manoj Gunawardena

    It is going to be an uphill task specially when the newly appointed Board is full political lackeys whose contributions towards the Airline are highly doubtful

    • 2
      2

      Srilanken was handled by those goons considering that the airline was their pvt property. Lately I happened to fly by UL – the fact that frankfurt manager failed to do his job properly held us waiting that longer. Actually, this airline earned all respect going back to the times of CBK. There they claimed even profits. To this day, the bugger et al to run the airline to bankrupsy is a curse for all srilankens.

  • 6
    4

    Lets hope that Sajin Vass’s brother Manoj is not the replacement…chap who comes to office after lunch when he was the CEO

    • 5
      3

      Manoj Gunawardena may have certain qualities but certainly not CEO material.All of us know how he became the CEO thanks to his half brother.Trouble with most of the ex Guys coming back is that they will bring along their previous Baggage as well.So the best thing would be to look for a real professional who will not carry any obligations political or otherwise

    • 0
      0

      Gunapala malala?

  • 2
    0

    Our EGO fortified by politicians/senior execs must change as internationally we are too small and enusually corrupt (unklike SIA). Time to let go and hand over to the private sector….

  • 10
    1

    “CBK disliked the airline with a passion. She hardly flew it. “

    But she made good money transacting a deal to sell it off to Emirates. Helped her buy Prince Andrews castle in UK with the commis. Victor Ivan will tell you the rest about the Chaur Rajini who liked pilfered money with a passion..

    • 1
      3

      So what at least the company was not at a loss.After His Majesty MR and his BIL managed the company to a level where even GAME KADE MUDALALI could have managed it better.Rubbish.LOOTING AND LOOTING.

  • 7
    0

    I think Srilankan should follow what Malaysia Airlines is doing. Get rid of those old style management, staff, etc. Focus on profitable routes, make code-share partnership so that the country doesn’t suffer from tourist numbers, then realign internal processes and operations. Running an Airline can be a profitable business, if they are run by people who want to make it profitable!

    • 0
      0

      Hi John, I fully agree with your input. Malaysians are hard core
      nationalists and they want everything done by Malaysians but when
      it comes to running an airline, they, after bungling it for 40 years,
      realised that expertise is required to run an airline profitably and CEO and senior management from overseas were recruited to manage the airline now. Sri Lankan airlines,always failed to get the right type of foreign administrators as they did not go to the right companies for head search

      In an earlier comment, have requested the minister of aviation to
      appoint a commission consisting foreign aviation/airline experts to inquire whether we need an airline of this size and expenditures, incurring colossal amount of people’s money with no profits in sight. Is it mandatory that we should have a national flag carrier operating around the world with no takers,incurring heavy losses. The problem is that the govt.will not favour to down size the airline as they, their families at times and their entourage get a free comfortable ride in first/business classes and these travel will not be there if made to travel economy class on other airlines paying from the coffers of the treasury and numbers of VIPs will be reduced due costs.

      The minister should take a serious look at it and downsize the airline
      to a regional carrier and operate on profitable routes like Indian,
      Middle east and far east and not the routes the ministers suggest and have code share partnerships, as John suggested, with other airlines
      and concentrate more on ticket sales on other airlines, on commission basis, open the skies for more airlines to operate and improve the infrastructure at BIA and earn money on ground handling of aircraft(supply of fuel & food for passengers included) Prepare the runways &
      and transit lounges to accommodate big jumbos of the future.

      As we all know, running an airline is not like running a bus company and it needs expertise and knowledge to run it by choosing the right
      routes, operating timings, etc. Operating to Europe, Americas and Australasia are very competitive and we cannot have the right equipment
      in large numbers to compete with larger airlines
      so, over to Capt. “Cool” to ponder over whether to operate the flights for prestige sake or downsize the airline to cater to local markets on profitable routes and leave it to the charterers to bring in the much wanted tourists in their large jumbos at low cost.

  • 1
    0

    The Airline [Air LANKA] began with a Bang.

    The same Airline[Srilankan Airlines] has now ended with a Whimper.

    Like Mountain Springs what is Perennial in the country is Impunity and Corruption!

  • 3
    0

    Why Aney it take so long for he to resign? Waiting for Bulath Kola?

  • 1
    2

    “then subsequently at 4:16 pm local time an official heart wrenching email titled a ” Good Bye Message from CEO” was sent to the Senior Management Staff of the airline informing them of his sudden departure.”

    What did this mutt think will happen to him when he destroyed this Airline.

    “The ‘Chief Strategic Officer’, four recently created and appointed ‘General Managers’ and his close group of haphazardly promoted ‘Grade 10′ and ‘Grade 11′ managers within the Commercial Department are now those who may be vary of their future in the airline.”

    I hope grade 10 & 11 do not refer to the highest school grade these idiots have passed. If so then god help the rest of the staff and the airline.

  • 3
    0

    I am afraid Mr Alvis is misguided, it may be that only Europe routes lost money during his time, today we hear that all routes except Maledives lose money most of the time. May be the solution must come from current Sri Lankan Employees, not from failed airline managers who live in the past , “No buts”

  • 5
    2

    Entire blame on Kapila alone is not fair…The full team of senior commercial management team and the 4 General Managers must share the responsibility for consistent colossal loss this airline was making…These are the same senior managers who made the five year Business Plan in year 2010 to revive the SriLankan Airline to profitability by 2015. Now we can see with our own eyes the success story of their Business plan.Believe me this same bunch of commercial team will propose a new five year business plan to the next CEO….

    • 3
      3

      Well knowing the capabilities of the current Senior Managers do not believe any one of them would have directly got involved in formulating the Business Plan in 2010.Do believe the key people involved in doing the Business Plan were former Head of Commercial and Chief Financial Officer.

      Though Kapila Chandrasena became CEO of UL in August 2011 do not believe he too had any direct involvement in formulating the Business Plan mainly since the subject has never been his forte.

      Even if the Business Plan had been crafted well,knowing Kapila Chandrasena he simply would have ignored same and resorted to his own devices that would suit his own agenda .

      Final result is a Bankrupt Airline

  • 4
    2

    Kapila Chandresena should have resigned at the time the previous Board of Directors resigned. He was a political appointee to the Board and the then Board of Directors appointed him as CEO.
    Why did he resign at time the Interim Report was submitted by the Weliamuna Committee? He could have waited until the probe is over.Could be he doesn’t want to be removed by the Hon.Minister based on the Interim Report?, instead he must have been advised to resign before that.
    Kapila Chadresena as CEO did not know what FOC ticket all about.He looked a fool at the last AGM when an employee shareholder questioned him about the FOC ticket and the answer he gave.

  • 5
    0

    Can you believe that he also held the post of CEO concurrently at Mobitel for almost one year , again abusing his power and networking with many parties for his interest.

    For example if one checks the Call centre of UL is outsourced to a close friend of Kapila; he did try to do the same with Mobitel, [Edited out]

  • 4
    2

    Better late than never.

    Kapila and the previous board is responsible for a loss of Rs 120 bn in 5 years!!! Hope they are held responsible. Current loss is Rs 2 bn per month even after fuel prices are at USD 60-00.

    Few points when going forward.

    .drop long haul routes.
    .esrptablish as a regional airline
    .look for a JV partner
    .professionalise the board.
    .recruit an outstanding CEO with accountability
    .improve yields
    .close down Mihin
    .review GSA agreements
    .no political interference

  • 4
    2

    Is this man allowed to resign and escape through the back door for all what he did? In my opinion, he must be brought to book for any wrong doing. As a matter of fact, no one should be allowed to tender resignation and skip the responsibility of answering for any and all of their wrong doings. Let us wait and see what the PM is going to do with the report. I doubt any firm and stern action being taken against any of these culprits.

  • 8
    1

    Only in an utterly immoral and insensitive government like the MR regime would a man like this have thrived. Kapila began his life as a Air Ceylon agent and worked at the Taj Hotel. He used to go for English classes then as he realized spoken English was the way to move into the society he so desperately wanted to get into.It was then alleged that he misappropriated Air Ceylon Funds and was charged in the High Court. He got off on bail and ran away to USA. This was when Premadasa was President. Later KC claimed that it was a political prosecution and manged to hush it up under Chandrika Presidency.In the USA he worked as a baggage handler at the Chicago Airport, violating his visa conditions which was a student Visa !

    Then later with some other shady Sri Lankan characters he began a travel agency in Dubai. This ended when he was arrested and jailed.
    The next chapter of Kapila’s career was in Australia where he suddenly surfaced to become a kind of agent for Telstra.Here he wheeled and dealed and entertained sri lankan politicians who came there lavishly.

    This way he met Chamal Rajapakse’s son ( Shasindra) and also sajin Vaas Gunawardena. That was a meeting with tragic consequences Sri Lanka and our poor people.

    These imbecile and dishonest politicians ( and their corrupt sons) offered Kapila the COO post at SLT. Kapila grabed the job and began his dream career in corruption. He used SLT money for any project of the Rajapakse’s as if the money belonged to them. The stakeholders of SLT , who includes the people of this country , were left high and dry.When Namal or even MR wanted funds for anything SLT money was available.

    As a airline ticketing agent and baggage handler Kapila had mastered certain technical terms and jargon with which he impressed the Rajapase family. He was also their willing collaborator. They thought that Kapila will be able to run not only Mihin Air but also the Sri Lankan airline. Under Kapila ( CEO of both !) both air lines stared plummeting down.

    By now MR’s donkey of a brother in law Nishantha Wickramsinghe had become the Chairman of Sri Lankan airline. Kapila soon realized the guy was completely crazy but had a high sexual drive. All that was taken care of by the obliging CEO.

    Hence a crooks career.By the way he and the infamous cricketer Aravinda Silva are married to two sisters-so investigate various deals concerning these people.

    Should we let all those responsible, including MR, Chamal, his sons, sajin and of course the absolutely crooked KC walk away free after this blatant wasting of public money and destruction of a national asset ? People of this country must decide

  • 0
    0

    I would have preferred ‘ELLA KOLLA’ to have been made the CEO and K A Sumanasekera as his secretary

  • 5
    3

    Next is Druvi Perera – the OL qualified Captain of SriLankan who is the Chief Operations Officer COO to leave the chair. From hot deals of simulators to aircraft to cash on hand cadet pilot recruitments!… More to come!…

  • 9
    9

    Very small but simple remark to all those who think they are experts in running an Airline Business…..
    You know nothing ,so stop trying to say whats correct for the Airline if you are not in this business.

    Reading most comments shows clearly what an ignorant brunch of people we have who love to run companies from their PC or lap Tops.
    Nothing can ever be perfect in anyone who runs the Airline,but be assured both former CEO knew their jobs better than any of these arm chair critics. Mr Gunawardena,Mr Chandrasena.

    Those who comment know nothng for sure and display their ignorance indeed.

  • 5
    0

    Only in an utterly immoral and insensitive government like the MR regime would a man like this have thrived. Kapila began his life as a Air Ceylon agent and worked at the Taj Hotel. He used to go for English classes then as he realized spoken English was the way to move into the society he so desperately wanted to get into.It was then alleged that he misappropriated Air Ceylon Funds and was charged in the High Court. He got off on bail and ran away to USA. This was when Premadasa was President. Later KC claimed that it was a political prosecution and manged to hush it up under Chandrika Presidency.In the USA he worked as a baggage handler at the Chicago Airport, violating his visa conditions which was a student Visa !

    Then later with some other shady Sri Lankan characters he began a travel agency in Dubai. This ended when he was arrested and jailed.
    The next chapter of Kapila’s career was in Australia where he suddenly surfaced to become a kind of agent for Telstra.Here he wheeled and dealed and entertained sri lankan politicians who came there lavishly.

    This way he met Chamal Rajapakse’s son ( Shasindra) and also sajin Vaas Gunawardena. That was a meeting with tragic consequences Sri Lanka and our poor people.

    These imbecile and dishonest politicians ( and their corrupt sons) offered Kapila the COO post at Mobitel. . Kapila grabbed the job and began his dream career in corruption. He used Mobitel money for any project of the Rajapakse’s as if the money belonged to them. The stakeholders of Mobitel, who includes the people of this country , were left high and dry.When Namal or even MR wanted funds for anything Mobitel money was available.

    As a airline ticketing agent and baggage handler Kapila had mastered certain technical terms and jargon with which he impressed the Rajapase family. He was also their willing collaborator. They thought that Kapila will be able to run not only Mihin Air but also the Sri Lankan airline. Under Kapila ( CEO of both !) both air lines statred plummeting down.

    By now MR’s donkey of a brother in law Nishantha Wickramsinghe had become the Chairman of Sri Lankan airline. Kapila soon realized the guy was completely crazy but had a high sexual drive. All that was taken care of by the obliging CEO.

    Hence a crooks career.By the way he and the infamous cricketer Aravinda Silva are married to two sisters-so investigate various deals concerning these people.

    Should we let all those responsible, including MR, Chamal, his sons, sajin and of course the absolutely crooked KC walk away free after this blatant wasting of public money and destruction of a national asset ? People of this country must decide

  • 4
    0

    What about Nishantha Wickremasinghe the biggest crook of them all.Where is he in all this he needs to be caught first.

  • 4
    2

    Dear Elf,

    I don’t know how you missed it all as most of the comments here are true. How would you know they are not Avaition related ?

    ARENT YOU KAPILA ? He, he

    • 3
      2

      Marfi
      Sure enough,I have read all and understand everything
      It cant be Kapila as he cant be that stupid to write and waste his Time
      Elf

  • 0
    2

    Get the acting promotions and on probation positions to step down to the previous positions and all casual and contract staff to reapply for those jobs.

  • 2
    0

    [Edited out]

    • 2
      0

      Unfit Lanket(wowla) go say it in the sihala section – your name is poop passport.

  • 2
    0

    Sri Lankan Airlines, unfortunately, became the property of the Rajapaksas, for their own personal extravagant travels…plane loads of family, friends, golayas and their mistresses, special trip for the Goat man’s doggy, to be flown by a family member, from Europe, trips abroad because his astrologer advised him to take, and Mihin air the ego airline running on air. What a colossal loss.

    Now all we Sri Lankan people need, are for PROFESSIONAL AND QUALIFIED officials, to take over and turn this disaster around. We would also appreciate it if the did not benefit from the lavish perks enjoyed by the scoundrels before. Thank you.

  • 0
    0

    Hope Kapila has learned a few lesions from his experience as a CEO!
    Airlines need professionals not kids who are looking for experience.
    Privatize it so the politicians can’t use their power to control such companies.

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