21 April, 2024


SriLankan Airlines: Captain Forces Flight Stewardesses To Penetrate Madurai Airport Security Defenses

The operating crew of a SriLankan Airlines flight from Madurai to Colombo including its Pilots and Cabin Crew were filmed creeping through a barbed wire fence and penetrating the Madurai Airport Security Defenses to gain access to their aircraft to operate their flight back to Colombo.

Capt.R. De Alwis and his crew of the national carrier were facing difficulties in gaining access to the main airport entrance in Madurai after their crew stop over. This was due to a protest being held by locals in close proximity to the airport in Madurai.

Instead of staying in the Crew Hotel and turning up to operate the flight once the protests in Madurai were over, Capt. De Alwis had looked at all options to get the crew to the airport to operate their flight back.

This meant that the crew transport provider was forced to take a dirt road and shove the Stewardesses and Pilots through a fence which borders the airport.

Whilst access to the airport should be entered through the proper channels the former Air Force Wing Commander and now Captain of SriLankan Airlines took a decision to penetrate the Madurai Airport defenses instead.

His job usually is to enter the airport through the proper legal channels to gain access to the aircraft and not through any illegal means.(By Janaka Ranaweera)

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Latest comments

  • 3

    Where are the passengers? Captain is responsible for the crew and the passengers. Are they still in the plane.

  • 1


    Thanks for the response and partial clarification. I still await your take on what would have happened if one or more crew members had been mauled, injured or even killed by protesters.

    It is not an attempt to belittle the dedication of the Captain. Yet his judgement is questionable. All manuals prioritize safety and security of passengers, crew and aircraft in that order.

    On your lengthy explanation on what happened ‘on that day in 1989’ and the glorious ‘win-win situation’, (it did remind me of Saddam Hussain’s ‘glorious Iraqi people!). On one hand, it is about an airline’s operation in the wake of an unofficial ‘curfew’ imposed by terrorists with all the might of the state i.e. Armed Forces and Police available to the airline and the easy access to the airport. On the other hand, it is about an A320 crew in a foreign country without the support of any state organs or even the local Police trying to gain entry to an airport surrounded by angry protesters. I believe it is a comparison of apples with pears.

    Apropos, I did ascertain reason for crew slip in Madurai which is due to disruption of flight skeds as a result of closure of Colombo Airport daily between 0830 hrs and 1640 hrs.

  • 1

    The ex Wing Commander Rabbi de Alwis had his Officer Cadet training at the Air Force training establishment in diyatalawa in 1973.
    i am proud that all that was “grilled” into him on Leadership, Initiative and Innvation has stood him in good stead upto this date.
    Well Done and Congrats

  • 1

    The Commander and crew could have stayed in the Airport, after all it was just a few hours,the station staff at MadurAi should have briefed them on the situation in the city.
    It’s a breach of Airport security and trespassing if you cut through fences and make your way in.

  • 0

    Rajeewa: Pl. refer to my comment of January 25 @ 5.58 p.m.. It explains my response to “what if anyone was harmed….”. We do not still know “Who” planned this “illegal” entry and “What” assistance were given to the crew. The statement issued by Mr. Dulip Perera of UL in relation to this matter has not mentioned that aspect at all. So I stopped at that, without going into “what would have happened…..”

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