25 May, 2022


SriLankan Airlines: Bahrain Flight Cancelled As Cabin Crew Refuse To Fly

Amidst a news media blackout on the incident, SriLankan Airlines flight UL 215/6 on the 19th January 2017 scheduled to depart from Colombo to Bahrain and back, was cancelled due to the Flight Attendant Union President Sakvithi Senadheera and his crew’s refusal to operate the flight, citing that they would exceed their Flight Duty Time Limitations.

Sakvithi Senadheera

The cancellation of this flight cost the already loss making national carrier a further thumping loss besides inconveniencing hundreds of passengers both in Colombo and Bahrain.

The pilots scheduled to operate the flight were not affected by the duty time limits, as the airline provides them an overnight stay in Bahrain, whilst the Cabin Crew are made to operate the entire trip to Gulf state and back.

The FAU President Senadheera and his entire crew were subsequently taken off all flying duties pending an investigation.

However reliable sources informed Colombo Telegraph that the management of the national carrier had struck a deal with the FAU President Senadheera, where it is reported he had provided a written letter of apology for his actions in order to safeguard his job.

Senadheera informed the membership of the FAU later, that he had acted in the capacity of a Cabin Manager and not in the capacity of the Union President when dealing with the airline’s management into this incident.

A few days ago the FAU President Senadheera and his crew had been reinstated back to follow their flying rosters.

Meanwhile the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka has sent a letter to Chairman Ajith Dias a couple of days back, stating that the management had been bias in their decision making process into this incident and have not been fair to their grounded pilot Capt. Sujith Jayasekara.

In August of last year Capt.Jayasekara questioned a hurriedly enforced breathalyzer process prior to departing on a flight duty to Bangkok.

Strangely he was permitted to operate his flight to Bangkok by the officials entrusted to carry out the procedure, who then went on to report the pilot to the airline’s management, stating that he refused to carry out the breathalyzer test.

Six months later Capt. Jayasekara who was initially denied his salary for months, still languishes at home as he has refused to provide a written letter of apology, unlike FAU President Senadheera, for a wrong he did not commit.

His investigation is still pending whilst the FAU President Senadheera whose actions cost the airline millions in losses safeguarded his job by simply conforming to the airline management’s demands.

However the irony behind Capt. Jayasekara’s incident is that the entire breathalyzer process was changed by the airline after meetings were held between the management, the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka and members of the Pilots Guild. The airline’s management instead of been thankful to Capt. Jayasekara for highlighting the shortfall, have instead left him feeling uncertain about his professional future.

In the final paragraph of the letter, the ALPGSL President Capt. Perera states that the Guild is hereby serving notice to Chairman Ajith Dias for his conduct and that they reserve the right to take legal action against him regarding this matter.

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Latest comments

  • 18

    nothing to worry.
    The world famous publication “Air LIne” with insight information just published that China Air Lines are taking over Sri Lankan air line.
    Sri Lankan Govt say they have no option but to lease all the landing rights/take off rights /parking/air crafts without MOT to China Air Lines.
    the good news is no more fat ugly aging air hostess.
    instead chic Chinese air hostess.

    • 11

      Ha ha ha still no Eelam! Hurts doesn’t it?

  • 7

    Thank you Wettasinha brothers. Tomorrow it will be Mitall steel houses!

  • 33

    These Srilankan airlines employees ,the CEO and Chairman are simply a pack of retards and idiots.Just go home man without bleeding our country any more.Close this dam airline.It is a brimstone hanging on the country’s neck.Enough is enough.It is very sickening.This situation has prevailed since the very beginning of this airline.The only difference is it has got progressively worse with each passing year.

  • 16

    These Srilankan airlines employees ,the CEO and Chairman are simply a pack of retards and idiots.Just go home man without bleeding our country any more.Close this dam airline.It is a brimstone hanging on the country’s neck.Enough is enough.It is very sickening.This situation has prevailed since the very beginning of this airline.The only difference is it has got progressively worse with each passing year.

  • 1


    • 7

      The owl must have seen a “pussy”. Ha ,Ha, Haaaaa !

  • 9

    Monte Christo,Haha , yes the Owl may have seen a pussy but certainly not one at Srilankan ! As you personally know, the recruitment policy is so bad, so it is low quality all the way from top to middle to bottom, if you know what I mean.In other words not worth even a first look, let alone a second.

  • 3

    Obsession with Srilankan airlines continues for CT

  • 3

    If the Govt can not handkle, Sri lankan air lines should be privatized.

    • 5

      Who is going to buy this politicised and corrupted entity.

  • 1

    should replace the cabin crew with Veeraman and Arunprakash

  • 9

    With 1300 Cabin Crew in total, if they cant find a replacement set of crew with at least a minimum of 8 crew to man the doors and get the aircraft off the ground, then the management needs to be sent home. Sadly the Crew Rostering Department officials should be sent home first for not been able to handle this situation. Whilst all leading airlines have Cabin Crew on Stand by at close proximity to the airport, Sri Lankan Airlines keep their stand by cabin crew at home and so far away from the airport. So in an emergency they cant gather a set of cabin crew to handle a crisis. The Crew Rostering manager is more interested in managing his wife’s roster as she is Cabin Crew herself. Bloody disgrace. Head of Flight Ops who manages Crew Rostering seems to be working in tandem with Nalaka the Manager and himself is up to all the nonsense himself. Seems like Druvi was better than him now. Pity they got rid of him. What sought of a Flight Attendant Union President is this guy Sakvithi? The airline should recover the entire loss incurred for this cancellation from him and his union rather than accepting a stupid letter of apology. Also time the most incompetent Chairman and CEO this airline ever had resigns too. Both of them dont have a bloody clue of how to run an airline, especially when funded by the people of the country.

  • 7

    They need to ground themselves. they have some really fat stewardesses and they will fall down like elephants if they fly more hours than what they can. Please captains take more fuel.

  • 3

    Automate the Crew Rostering.

    Panasonic is producing two millions plasma Tvs per month with robots but only 15 people managing the entire shop floor. Robots do better, faster and cheaper job. Robot are all over the world, in the US, over 250,000 robots are in their work places, factories, hospital etc. Robots are even in the battle fields. Robots are doing over one thousand surgical operations per day on human beings in US hospitals. For robots no pay, no tea and lunch breaks, no sick leave, no insurance and no vacation time. Nowadays robots are cheaper and are easy to move about.

    Automate it, only one time expense with nominal expense for upkeep, and with few people could manage the whole show. Feed the entire crew details to the machine and it would do the job very efficiently, meticulously at lightning speed with huge cost servings.

  • 8

    The entire problem in this airline is it’s being managed by Pilots!.

    Hats off to Suren Ratwatta who is no longer a pilot but a fulltime administrative person, rest of the pilots in the history have ate the airline so badly.

    From Druvi Perera to Prasanna Karunathilake to Rajin Ranatunga to Romesh Silva, every one is eating the airline so badly.

    What must be done is to remove this Captains from Head of Flight Operations, and make a administrative person in charge of this and make him Head of Operations Control and let all the Chief Pilots report to them. By this way proper administraive skilled person will be managing the operations and not just drivers in the sky.

    Pilots can fly for sure. But not administration. Casue they only think about them and their “wargaya” and not the fellow staff members.

    Hats off to Sakvthi who did a great job as a union leader to demonstrate the POWER of the union!!!….

  • 3

    Sakvithi Senadeera has acted in responsibility not as a Union Member of the President of the FAU, but at a PURSER as he was responsible for the team that backed off with him on Flight Time Limitations. At a time like this it should not be taken into account that Sakvithi acted as the President of the FAU but as the PURSER taking into consideration the jobs of the others as well. If he acted as the President of the FAU and took a decision then he is wrong, but in this case he is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT in his decision because he acted in the capacity of the PURSER. Well done Sakvithi.

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