30 September, 2020

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Sri Lankan Airlines: Charitha Ratwatte’s Brother Appointed As New CEO

Captain Suren Ratwatte has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lankan Airlines.

Suren RatwatteCaptain Ratwatte who is currently employed by Emirates Airline is due to commence operations in his new role from October 2015.

However an official announcement regarding his appointment is yet to be announced by the airline.

Suren is the brother of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s advisor Charitha Ratwatte.

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  • 16
    4

    I completely agree with Ben who said that the CEO must be selected and appointed by the Board of Directors. The first CEO known in Air Lanka was one expatriate recruited through a”Head Hunting Agency”. Prior to that this position was titled COO (Chief Operating Officer) held by expatriates. At the very start this organization had a GM (General Manager) seconded for service from the Singapore Airlines. He was one Mr. Kulasegaram, the Financial Director of that Airline. Someone said in a comment that the first Chairman Cpt. S.R.Wickramanayake was a relation of JRJ. NO. He was a friend of the then President JRJ’s son Mr. Ravi Jayawardane. He would have had a say in that appointment, that I do not know. However the initial invitation to form a National Carrier was to Singapore Airline and then Prime Minister Lee Kuvan Yeu entrusted the entire “project’ to Singapore Airline Chairman Mr. Pillai. Knowing Mr. Pilai< I do not think he would "just agreed" to appoint Capt. Wickramanayake then a Command Pilot of Singapore Airlines as its Chairman without the backing of a very responsible team in the Board of Directors. That "demand" perhaps JRJ met by appointing the following to the Board of Directors:(1) Cpt. Wickramanayake as the Chairman/Managing Director (2) Mr. G.V.P.Samarasinghe – the Secretary to the Cabinet (3) Mr. V.Gunatilake – the Solicitor General (4) Mr. R. Coomaraswamy – a prominent Lawyer and (5) Mr. D.C. Wijesekera – a Practicing Public Aooountant. Later on when Mr. Coomarasway passed away Mr. A.N.U Jayawardane – the Chairman of the Mercantile Group of companies was appointed. Then following the resignation of Mr. V.C.Gunatilake Dr. W.M.Tilakaratne – Secretary to the Treasury was appointed. So did you see the caliber of the people appointed to start the National Carrier.

    After that we saw what happened. Airlanka with its Logo flying Monara and the trade slogan "Enjoy a Taste of Paradise" won the hearts everybody and it left an indelible mark on the aviation map of the world with its unique "in-flight service. It also acquired two of the "Big Tops" at the time – 747 Double Decker carriers to its fleet. Apart from that the biggest ACHIEVEMENT was to train the Sri Lankan personnel to take over from Singapore Airline management. By the year 1984 its Technical Staff was trained and equipped to do a "C" check of a wide body aircraft at Katunayake Hanger. What is this "C" check one would wonder- It is to STRIP the Aircraft to the "Belly" and "RE_FIT" to its original operating capabilities. The Sri Lankan technical staff did it very well and they were highly commended by the Technical Team from the Manufacturing companies. What was the share capital injected by the then Government? It was a pittance of Rs. 5 million. backed by Government guarantees to lease and purchase aircraft. If anyone talks of profit and losses in Rupee terms, it is short sighted. Think of the "Human Resource" factor that was trained and introduced to run an international airline operation.

    Now coming back to this appointment of CEO Capt.Ratwatte, I would say, he knows the "LANGUAGE" of the Airline Industry; but it does not mean he is fit to be the CEO. A CEO is a person who could fit into to the shoes of "All in One" style. He has to be capable of handling all overall functions of Administration, Finance, Operations (both at Ground and Air) Technical, Human Resources etc. I wonder whether he has that exposure. Instead, I would have suggested him to be appointed a the "Chief Operating Officer" for which position he amply qualifies. This appointment is like placing "square pegs in round holes. Our Prime Minister does that all the time. Anyway being an Airline personnel I wish him all the best and success.

    • 8
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      Douglas,

      I am not mistaken , Air Ceylon had to be changed to Air Lanka to accommodate Capt. Rakkhitha Wickramanayake, because of his issues with his ex-employer ,Air Ceylon & JRJ did that.

      By making Charitha Ratwatte’s brother Ranil takes whole responsibility in to his shoulders.

      Though I doubt this new CEO’s skills to turn around a loss making venture, let’s wait & see , because it’s now PM Ranil’s baby.

    • 5
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      douglas

      “This appointment is like placing “square pegs in round holes. Our Prime Minister does that all the time.”

      That is because he is also a square peg in a round hole.Just visualise the job he would have had now if the once mighty and arrogant UNP still had preme,lalith,gamini and ranjan.prbably this ratwatte guy would have also come 5th or so if a selection was made on merit.

    • 0
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      You must contribute more often. Insightful comment which I am sure many are unaware of. I’d suggest an expanded piece to one of our newspapers because its something the public ought to know of.

  • 2
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    Let us not all fall into the trap of comparing what happened in the last administration and allow the new lot to run up the credit card, all over again.

    That is the logic being applied to AlL their decisions and choices.

    See…we are not as bad!

    Is that why we votted for them?

  • 6
    1

    History repeats itself! In the words of Lee Kuan Yew, referring to Ranil’s uncle’s plans for Air Lanka:

    “He had some weaknesses. He wanted to start an airline because he believed it was a symbol of progress. Singapore Airlines (voted as the Best Airline Year 2000 in the Fortune Magazine’s recent issue) employed a good Sri Lankan captain. Would I release him? Of course, but how could an airline pilot run an airline?”

    I’m sure Mr. Ratwatte is a pilot par excellence. But he appears to be just one more square peg in a round hole. One hopes, at least, that he doesn’t use the Airline as the previous CEO did.

  • 3
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    Douglas.

    I found your comment very interesting.I would like to add my two cents worth.
    Captain Rakhitta Wickramanayake is the son of E.B.Wickramanayake Q.C.onetime Minister of Justice and a cabinet colleague of JR then.

    JR in 1977 declared that he would build SriLanka on the model of Singapore.
    In the 1960s Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew declared that he would build Singapore
    on the model of Ceylon!
    You are right.Square pegs in round holes and Round pegs in Square holes!

  • 3
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    John: Thank you. I know what you are referring to. Capt. Wicks (popularly called) was a pilot of Air Ceylon who was accused of “abandoning an aircraft” in Bangkok (I believe) due to a dispute with his employer. Yet, he was able to secure employment in the same capacity with Singapore Airlines and rose up to the position of a “Command Pilot”. That Air Ceylon operated for many more years after that incident and it was after an investigation the airline was dissolved at which time it was under the chairmanship of one Mr. De Zoysa. Therefore, I do not think JRJ dissolved Air Ceylon and created Air Lanka to accommodate Capt. Wicks. Yet, as I said in my comment, JRJ’s son Mr. Ravi Jayawardane who was a friend of Capt. Wicks would have had some say in bringing him as the Chairman. Leaving aside all that history, I believe Capt. Wicks did a splendid job of establishing a “Brand New” National Carrier called Air Lanka that became a icon in the world map. Also his “Style” of Management,”No Nonsense”; perhaps brought up and accustomed to that of Singapore Airline made him the great leader to “Lead” the team to establish a truly National Carrier. One incident that I witnessed to testify to that caliber viz. I was one day at the Labour Tribunal in Negambo when I met Late Mr.S.L.Gunasekera – a prominent lawyer, who told me he has come to defend Air Lanka against a case filed by Late Mr. Wilmot Jayawardane whose services have been terminated. Do you know who this Mr. Wilmot Jayawardane? He was none other than the youngest brother of JRJ who at the time was the President.What would you think of that decision of Capt. Wicks to terminate the services of the brother of JRJ? That was ONE among many others that I know of his style of NO NONSENSE management established in Air Lanka. So all in all, leaving aside his stiff against Air Ceylon, Capt. Wicks must go on record to have given us a “Brand New” National Carrier called Air Lanka.

    Shankar: I agree with you.

    Plato: If you go to look at these appointments, we can see everyone has all the “connections” and “some connection”. That is the NORM. What is relevant and important to us ordinary folks are: Are they capable and do they perform with honour making them responsible and accountable in their respective assignments for the benefit of the people. If they do that, we are happy. Thank you all.

    • 2
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      Thanks Douglas for reply, it’ interesting to read about Capt. Wicks no nonsense management.

    • 3
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      Minor point, but would someone verify that Junius Richard Jayewardene (“J.R.”) had a brother called “Wilmot.” I always believed that his youngest brother was Corbett who was in the judiciary. I also remember the other members of his family who were in the legal and medical professions, but no “Wilmot.”

  • 6
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    Look at the number of Cat’s whiskers commenting here. What a shame Sri Lankan Air could have easily picked a CEO from the know all Comment posters in this blog. What height of conceit? Running down Suren Ratwatte’s appointment, but were dumb and quiet when an ‘Off shot’ of a Planter with Eurasian blood ran it to the ground.

    • 3
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      Gamini:
      Do you think they’d have considered me for the job because, by your definition, I would fit as “the off-shot of a planter with Eurasian blood,” or something of the kind that you describe?
      I don’t know know about “shots,” “off” or otherwise, but BOTH my parents were Eurasians and that is simply a fact of life of which I am neither proud nor ashamed. Incidentally, I don’t know how you’d classify me because they were formally married (as were their parents before them).
      Isn’t it time that CT started looking at some of the material that is being published in its comment areas, because it certainly leaves something to be desired in the matter of acceptable terminology? What’s next people of African origin being called “niggers?”

      • 1
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        Emil,

        This comment of ‘off shot’ has no relevance to you as we all know you are of Eurasian stock. Whom I referred to was the former CEO of Sri Lankan, as both brother and sister seems to have a lineage in that direction. Not only these two but if one travels upcountry one could see the oats of the others, a few white skins among the dark skin Estate labour.

    • 2
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      This comment is simply racial. No matter any kind of blood we have in our vessels, we are all srilankens.. Are not we ?

      I think no matter you have kind of blood but corruption mentality should he bring if to improve the system.

      Gamini, I neverthought you would add the kind of comment to this forum.
      What matters should be the knowledge of the candidate- to fit the requirements of the seeking profile.. nothing else.

    • 3
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      I know I had read about Suren’s qualifications some where so I did a search and pasted below is what I found. However, going by all the pundits posting here it seems the only qualification that matters is the he is related to Chritha Ratwatte. Therefore he cannot possibly be suitable for the job. Also these same pundits probably oozed appreciation at the stellar performance of the previous chairmen Wickremeasinhe who single handedly ran a profitable airline into the mud.

      Captain Ratwatte is a holder of Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and the author of several published works.

      He is also a well-known Human Factors researcher and practitioner, having published a number of articles and essays in the field. His expertise includes a variety of senior instructional and management roles in Airlines, most recently was the Human Factors Manager of Emirates Airlines.

      Now this seems impressive but I suppose Nishantha was better qualified eh?

      • 2
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        Wera.in the field of Air transport industry , what you try to support Surens credentials would fit in to if he takes up an Academic post. To run Sri Lankan airlines a loss making airline for the last 5 years you need a practical guy who has a better understanding of the business world with commercial experience who could integrate all the departments and run 5000 employees with a minimum budget. Its not easy, mind you this airline has 4 collective agreements to be renewed every two years , manage 5000 people with a biggest Nidahas sevaka sangamaya, political interference, regulators (CAA)welcoming and signing more open sky agreements where competitors start flying in to the country , Can this Pilot handle that,?

        Embry riddle is no bigger or no less than any other Aviation Postgrad one can get. I have met total useless Cadet pilots who joined Sri Lankan airlines come from Embry riddle could not pass the sim, no work experience etc, no command since but just the certificate from Embry. They are all grown up boys in the age group of 25-28 haven’t worked in their life whée they don’t have practical exposure ,its a flashy school in USA but there are similar or equivalent aviation programs around the world like Cranfield , City University , Brunell from UK where lots of Management Pilots from EK , Virgin and BA graduate

        Doesn’t matter he has written essays because for any postgradute MBA s one has to do research papers , also any person who flies for more than 10years and has an ATP could apply for the membership of AMRaes , I know there are local flight instructors and Ex Air force pilots who flew tiger moths and retired are members, just pay the subs. We have mentioned again and again that a CEO should and come from a commercial background than froma technical background. If you prove that a PILOT can run an airline then I can prove a senior Dispatch Manager from any 5star Airline with 25 years experience with an aviation degree could run as well because he has a better understanding of the network, flight analysis, performance , revenue , costing than an Airline Pilot.Also Dispatch manager has a management experience of managing s staff of crew schedulers, flights dispatches under him.

  • 9
    1

    Read all of the posts and as a person in the industry thought I need to contribute.

    First the way it was published damaging and bring negative publicty for Suren Rattwatte already, branding him as Somboeys elses Brother appointed as CEo. ( Charitha Rattwattes ) We all know Charitha Ratwatte is a seniro advisor to the PM Ranil W when ever latter becomes PM. in the 2001 government Charitha Rattwate was the treasury Scetratery and it was well known secret during 2001-2004 country was run by Rw led Royal classmates which is similar to the currentrunning as well. He is sorrounded by Arjum Mahedran, Malik Samarawickrama, Saagal Rathnayke, Ravi K.

    the other point where most of the readers got it wrong was comparing him to Ex presidents Bro in Law Nishantha Wick who was the Chairman and not the CEO. In any Organisation the role of the Chairman is to steer the board where the CEO runs the company.So we should not highlight alot whther Nishantha had only O/L which was inadequate because his job was not to run the Airline on day to day basis. But CEO then kapila Chandrasena who is an Engineer qualfied from Univerty of Chicago and hold a Masters from University of Mebourne had adequate edcuation qualfications to get nominated as a CEO.he did have some exposure running Mihin which was again a politically motivated Government funded loss making Airline. Also we cannot compare Peter Hill with any of the CEos we had since 2008 after Emirates pulled out and government took full controle of the Airline. Remeber Peter hill was already working for Emirates and he was appointed by EK with a loads of cash , good bank balance from Emirates and lot of Aircrtafts. He did turn around the status of the Airline after the Airport attack in 2001 but its always easy to controle and run the airline when the major Shareholders and the parents company is rich and he was guided by TIM Clark of Emirates as a the Group Chairman responsible for overses the operation. Peter Hill had lot of comercial expereince with no postgrad ratings but his expsoure running some challanging commercial Units of Emirates did make him a better CEO.

    Suren Rattwatte.

    When we take the best /profitable airlines in the world 90% of them are run by Non Pilots ( they may hold licences) but never had a carear as a Pilot because in the Air trasprt industry Pilot duties/credentials are just a portion of it. There are other more challanging portions in the industry where you need a better understanding of the core vlaue of the enitre Operations than just being a Pilot or an Enginner by profession and worked in that area for decades. You become an expert in that area with out any doubt but in general you lack the exposure of the bigger picture. it would have been Suren Rattwatte have had some Commercial Expereince at Emirates coupling up with his Pilot credentials so that he could make use of them towrads Sri Lankan.We need to remeber that Sri Lankan needs more tha fine tuning to capture the market segmant, effective routing, better revenue management, good loyality programe , safety and standards.Had Suren worked at Emirates as a Flight Operations manager or Director Flight Operations then he would have been a much more better choice than now because that role has challanges to deal with all the commercial aspects in the Airline. But to justify his appointment of being the Human factors manager at Emirates is not really enough mainly because Human facotrs is not a commercial Area and its related to pilot/Cabin work related issues.Normally that post is taken up by a Pilot to motivate and conduct training for other pilots because reltaed to to the skill.That area is too narrow to prove that he had managerial credentials to take up this position.

    On the other hand his edcuation background with a flashy Enbry-riddle post graduate qualfication prove a point that he is aware of the fundementals of Airlne business but to take up the challnges of a CEO and make Sri lankan Airlines a profittable airline in the region you need a radical , strategic thinker with solid global understanding and commercial expertise. We all vitnessed how Capt Druvi Pereras role of Chief Operations Officer overseeing Sri Lankan and Mihin togother failed with serious lapses in Operations.He holds just the ATP ( Pilot License) with no A/L qualifications and lacked commercial and business expereince to function.But Manoj Vass Gunawardena who had 30 years experience with Sri Lankan holding more strategic and responsible positions did have a decent run as a CEO mainly because the areas he had covered in the past are more important to see the direction/Sales/revenue of the Airline than just being a Pilot.Since he came from the backgrounf of World wide sales, his focus on competition/revenue/netowrk/Sales/marketing had a big impact but due to BIG VVIP pressure where he did not agree with his decision ( buying Boeing aginst Airbus ) he was asked to leave.

    BA, Cathay, Emirates, Qantas, and the best Airline in Europe Turkish Airline, the the best Low costs, Ryan, Easy, Air Asia, southwest are run by Accountants, Commercial managers , Engineering or Pilots who holds proofesisonal ratings but had valauble and more Commercial experience. What we need is a Strategic Thinker , nay be a an Airline executive in Revenue Management, Commercial Manager, Financial Direcotr worked in an Airline business thna pilot who has flown an A380 with 18,000 hours.

    The worst that we can expect from this appointment is that all the senior Pilots are biting their teeth to meet him talk about the golden days of Airlanka and aggree him to increase the perks of Pilots

    • 3
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      You may be right – but I really dont know Srilanka can find a well appropriate person to handle this considering him to need to have all the experience in the field. This candidate is not the most suitable person but he is better than his predecessor. That is it. I believe, lanken industries, they cant find locals with most appropriate profile meeting with all the expectations. But it is better to appoint a well experienced pilot to the postion rather than just a man with not even olevel qualification as had been the days of MR regime.

  • 1
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    Douglas.

    JRJ.did not have a sibling by the name of Wilmot Jayewardena.The youngest was Dr.R.P.Jayewardena,the Physician.Corbet Jayewardena,who was a District Judge later became a Buddhist Monk.H.W. Jayewardena Q.C.was of-course the famous lawyer.
    S.L.either did not know this or most probably was pulling your leg.
    Anyway,for your info.JRJs family got absorbed into the Sinhalese only somewhere in the 16th century,from a Colombo Chetty line.

    Interestingly,History repeats itself.Both his grandsons are married to Colombo Chetties.

    • 1
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      Plato – JR did have a brother by the name Wilmot Jayawardena who worked
      for AIRCEYLON for a long time and he later joined AIRLANKA. under Capt. Wicks.

  • 3
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    BA is run by Willie Walsh, who is a commercial pilot. He ran AerLingus as well. BA is doing very well under his leadership , with margins better than 10% which was what they were aspiring some time ago, but considered rather difficult in this industry.

    It is the team that matters , and the leadership skills of the CEO. CEO’s with commercial background can succeed, and equally can fail as well, as was seen at UL despite industry experience were doing what the politicians dictated them to do . The airline may already have a significant drag , with long term aircraft leases committed to at unsustainable lease rentals, which will result in direct operating costs becoming uncompetitive.

    • 7
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      Yes Ba was run by Williw Walsh, he was a cadet with Air lingus and had a CPl /Ir but never flew the Comercially for less than 2 years , he managed to get on to management and climbed up the ladder on Air lingus and then joined BA.
      So he had more commercial experience than bieng a Pilot. Air lingus a Airline management produced top executives including Alan joyce the group CEO of Qantas.

      Managing Sri Lankan it tough from the domestic point of viewe where you find the biggest ‘ Nidahas Sewaka Sangamaya’where 5000 employees are working where the ratio of the Aircraft to Employee is more than what Cathay and BA.Who ever comes as CEo need to focus on streamlining the recrutments , cutting donw employees and perks. We need a strong person to do that, a Forigner is needed who can take strict, strategic decisions than a local.

      • 3
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        Chuti Putha, you are dead right here.
        Only foreign head can teach them how it should be if they really want to gofor total change of system towards the progress of the country and airline.

  • 0
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    Plato: You are dead wrong. Please verify that fact from still living Mr. Ravi Jayawardane – the son of JRJ and Capt.S.R. wickramanayake. Or you need more and further information please contact Capt. Nihal Jayawickrama, (another pilot with Air Lanka) – the son-in.law of Mr. Willmot Jayawardane. You may not have known this fact of the “Youngest” brother of JRJ; because he was lesser known and right through his life he had a career with Air Ceylon and later Air Lanka. Late SL had no reason to pull my leg, because I was present at the same venue over some other matter and watched the proceedings and the relevant examinations. Before Late SL, I knew who Late Mr. Wilmot Jayawardane was. Perhaps Mr Jayaeera who writes to this page on aviation matters and who served in Air Lanka could signify this information. Anyway, I stand firm on my information.

    • 1
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      Indeed, as an ex-employee of AirLanka I can confirm that Mr Wilmot Jayawardena, the younger/youngest brother of HE JRJ was a full time employee at AirLanka (and Air Ceylon)
      Mr Wilmot Jayawardena was in charge of the Inflight department and subsequently the Administration and Logistics department until his retirement around 1980/81

    • 0
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      [Edited out]

  • 0
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    Galleon’s BIL is looking after their Insurance cover..,,

    Sira’s bro is giving them super fast Internet..

    Now Ranil’s own cousin is taking care of the comfort and safety of the Elite and the Anglican’s when they travel overseas..

    What is wrong with that ?…

  • 4
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    For the record Suren Ratwatte is a brilliant pilot and lets establish that fact first. However I am sorry but Suren Ratwatte is no horse for this course. This struggling airline requires an experienced professional CEO with a sound Commercial background with a proven track record of turning airlines around. At this moment in time his appointment is at a mere trial and error stage.
    Sri Lankan Airlines is about to recruit a Chief Technical Officer shortly. Perhaps if Ratwatte was recruited for that role or perhaps even as Head of Flight Operations, I am sure he would have excelled in it.
    The current office job he holds besides a bit of flying at Emirates is that of Human Factors Manager. Please do ask anyone [Pilot at Emirates about this role and they will give you a smirk) He was involved with Crew Resource Management (CRM) and that’s it. So Ratwatte was never instrumental in working at Emirates where the bottom line depended on his expertise. He was also just another employee.
    Suren Ratwatte like many other professionals also failed at times in Dubai and on one instance his post of being an Instructor at Emirates was also removed instantly.
    I am sorry, but in my opinion and based on facts, this job of CEO at Sri Lankan Airlines with the appointment of Suren Ratwatte is nothing but a political appointment. He does not have the expertise, proven track record or history of doing a job of this nature.
    It is sad I don’t see our national carrier ascending in a profitable way but rather make a rapid descend to the further depths of despair.
    Suren does not need money, he has enough of it. But the aura that comes with his job is what he will love the most.
    However those that appointed him are set to make a killing in the next five years. This is the simple truth.
    Voters have lost out here once again!

    • 1
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      Cloudy Skies- Yes i like the way you think.- But the apointment has already been done, and its confirmed its been sealed that he will take over as CEO of UL. according to your information of getting down a Cheif Tech officer where Dick Hutton funciotned during Ek days, yes that would have been the ideal position for Suren ratwatte , but a peron who has been flying for Ek for well over 25 years , Senior Captains earing a flashy wages would not come to Sri lanka to become the CTO. This could be his final few years with EK and that could be the deal so that he will remain or become a SIm instructor afterwards.

      What the government would have done was to touch base with a Senior Executive of Ek tobecome the CEO.Those senior Executives who held responsible positions as Commercial, Netowrk, revenue, planning or Finance have the ingriedents in Air transport to become Airline CEOs.

      This is what Etihad did when they hired James Hogan , and Oman Air did the same as well whe they got the french guy who was the understudy of Peter Hill.
      Who veer comes the regulators have a a very important thig do as well. We simply cant improve the Airline when most airlines start comming to the country where the price of a ticket is much less then UL.When they undercut it is very difficult to survive a sa Friss Airline when the whole region is run by non Frills ( LCC) , thatsa tough task. so you need a strategic decisions to cut jobs, expenses, and hold recruitments for some time untill the airline can save some funds. Look at Qantas. it took them under 2 years to make profits when they ( alan Joyce ) took a radical decisiom to cut down loss making routes,cut 5000 jobs , hold salary increments for 2 years, the CEO took a 40% pay cut. Now they are back in profits wlel over $500 m and ready to order 787s .

      During thre last regime somany were recruited on political commenctions where the total streagth is close to 6000. Some Manageent Pilots are paid over Rs 10-12 lakhs per months, Executies are paid well over Rs 200,00 with Car allowance Fuel etc. Thats way too much for a loss making Airline. need a radical restructering.

    • 2
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      Suren Ratwatte is a friend of mine, whom I have known for over twenty years. He has been my colleague at Emirates for well over half that time.

      I can categorically state that he has never failed as an instructor at Emirates. In fact was not interested in being one, and never applied for the post.

      • 1
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        @B744
        Heyyy.. but that wont stop some of us from fabricating rumors that cannot be substantiated or easily disproven !!! After all, knowing that it’s so easy to rile up some contributors just by posting some nonsense … it’s just too good a chance !

  • 6
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    How many of the directors of the “Sri Lankan” are actually living in Sri Lanka ? Are they on the board to serve the country or only their personal interests ? If they have settled down in other countries why would they want a job here at Sri Lanka ,except for the free flights and other perks ?

    • 0
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      Harry Hatton
      I think you missed a point. Since he is already working at an airline (in fact, one of the biggest fleets in the world), he already has the perks.. in fact he would likely be giving up a lot more than he actually gains

  • 1
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    Douglas.

    If you are certain,Plato would say Mea Culpa Mea Maxima Culpa.

    Cheers.

  • 4
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    A general comment based on my career experience:

    Management skills are the same, regardless of what one is called upon to manage. Intelligence, people skills, willingness to learn, honesty, hard work, dedication, ability to identify what is wrong,ability make decisions after deep thought and consultation, capacity to weed out the junk, capacity to recruit the best , fiscal prudence, quickness in response, ability to commumicate, ability to stand up for what is right, diplomacy when needed, deciveness, ability to stand up to bullying tactics and vision , are traits that are necessary.

    I have met many persons with no relevant edducation or training in the field they were called upon to manage, succeeding beyond expectations.

    Dr.RN

  • 1
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    Thanks B744, for refuting the bloody blatant lie that that holier than thou Cloudy Skies / Blue Skies/ Green Skies Skunk / Worm in the Wood Work Bass Unnahe has had the cheek to state
    He should shave his beard off in penance with a bothal katuwa!

  • 0
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    and Maalumiris ,[Edited out]

    • 0
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      @jayampathy
      take it easy.. you’ll give yourself apoplexy !
      Sadly I missed what the Mods have edited out of your comments. I am sure it was quite colorful to prod them to do so !
      Look up the word “irony” in the dictionary, won’t you ?

  • 2
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    I do not know who this Suren character is. Only outstanding thing thing about this Suren is his “Ratwatte” name. Will any political leader consider the appointment of someone bearing the name “Seneviratne Banda Manikkunambe” as the CEO? Seneviratne is of course, a PhD is analytical mathematics and is the chief strategist at a Fortune 500 company in the USA.
    From what I have seen, Suren has been a pilot. His employer, at a later stage, gave him some paperwork responsibilities.
    Basically, Suren is an “operational” person; he is neither strategic nor visionary.
    Successful CEO’s of not only airlines but of any commercial venture, demonstrate an ability to analyse and provide leadership in the development of strategies for both, management and growth of their business entities.
    To be a successful CEO delivering to the needs and expectations of shareholders, one must have at least a degree in mathematics.

  • 1
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    Many Sri Lankans, including the politicians believe in a wrong notion that an airline pilot can run an airline and on the contrary they cannot, as airline is a commercial venture. Strangely enough, the pilots do not even attend marketing seminars nor marketing courses to study about sales strategies as success of an airline depends on proper
    marketing in the competitive world. Their mind set is always on the safety of the aircraft and not how to fill it. The pilots concentrate on flying and some become check capts, some command capts and some end up as flight operation managers and few came up as COOs and not many as CEOs.

    There are few exceptions, of course Like Capt Rakitha Wickramanake,who
    became the chairman of the newly formed AirLanka with administrative
    assistance provided by Singapore airline (SQ). He was at an advantage
    as he came directly under JRJ and took decisions alone, whether it was the purchase of an aircraft or selection of routes and personnel,and no other minsters had any say and their chits for employment of their
    ‘catchers’ found its place in the waste paper basket in Capt. wicks’s office.He was an able administrator and a strict disciplinarian and unlike today, he selected the right people for the right job, specially
    the cabin crew, who brought fame to the airline but he largely
    depended on foreign marketing experts to boost the sales of the airline
    and Air Lanka earned a good name for inflight services and punctuality,
    and made profits, though overheads were high. He had a policy to spend money to earn money. No aircraft were diverted, rerouted or delayed to pick up pet dogs, girl friends, VVIPs under his command period. Can Sri Lankan airlines do this today? is the question PM Ranil should answer.It is worth mentioning here that Prime Minister McMillian of UK
    was once offloaded at London airport due late reporting due heavy road
    traffic.
    Sri Lankan airlines had made a wrong move once again. They should have
    got a good foreign recruitment company to do a head search for a CEO, well versed in marketing strategies as there is tough competition among the airlines to make a head way and it all depends on how effectively, marketing is done.
    This is a multimillion dollar project and govt. should give serious thoughts to make it a profitable venture by engaging experts in the
    trade and not go by the policy that we should have ‘made in Sri Lanka’
    personnel to run such sophisticated ventures to please the common man

    With due respect to Capt. Suren Ratwatte, am sure he will endorse above
    the statement as he currently flies for Emirates, which excels in marketing strategies. We must find experts to turn around the airline to a profitable one and Malaysian airlines found the truth recently and re nepotism, lets leave it to Vasudeva and Wimal Weeraya to comment !!.

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    0

    I have read all the comments (most unbiased and therefore valid, some puerile and not worth the effort) with great interest.

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a single viewpoint which sought to address the core issue as I see it; i.e. the fact that SriLankan is “state owned” and virtually “state controlled”.

    It is my humble opinion that not the most dynamic and qualified CEO in the world can turn this airline around as long as the State wields heavy influence/control over it. Just take a look at some of the other state owned carriers in the region and their plight (Air India, PIA, Biman Bangladesh etc.)

    Governments cannot and should not try to run airlines (nor any other commercial ventures for that matter).

    • 1
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      External expertise usually results in a positive outcome for the carrier, regardless of the surname of the CEO.

      Incidentally, it seems that along with Suren Ratwatte, Peter Hill has been taken onboard as a consultant and between the two of them, I think this is positive for the airline

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    Dear Captain Ratwatte
    The advertisement called for previous managerial experience of running a commercial entity.
    the fact that you didn’t have the experience should have prevented you from applying for this job.
    Any other applicant without the required experience would have been rejected at the first instance. Now we can only come to the conclusion that you would have had to use much influence to be afforded an interview.
    Bulldozing your way into this job doesn’t speak much for you or your credibility.
    If you are the decent sort of guy that you and a few interested friends make it to be you should do the right thing and withdraw your application as you are not only depriving another of the job but also putting an entire Airline with 6000 employees and over 25000 family members livelihoods at stake.
    But in the event you have taken the job, let us not hear excuses and excuses for your failures as done in the past.
    You have the fallen fuel prices to give you a good start and I’m sure you will not hesitate to take credit from the benefit in numbers due to this price fall.
    Good luck if you decide not to do the decent thing.

  • 0
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    Yeh the add called for past experience in higher management of a commercial entity.
    If this guy had any good intentions he wouldn’t have applied.
    If the Chairman and the clan had any integrity they would have rejected the application and any pressure on them to consider some one who falls short of the requirement.
    Poor Sri Lankan always raped by political henchmen.

  • 0
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    At least this fellow Ratwatte is a certified seasoned Airbus A380 pilot. He may need some training on the administration side of things, but he has the basic qualifications to do the job. If MaRa was allowed to appoint, he may have appointed someone like Dr. Merwyn Silva (PhD, FRCP, MRCP, ABCd).

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