23 July, 2018


SriLankan Airlines: Head Of Flight Ops Capt. Rajind Tells CEO Ratwatte To ‘Back Off’

In a dramatic move Capt. Rajind Ranatunga mustering courage as the Head of Flight Operations of SriLankan Airlines, officially informed CEO Capt. Suren Ratwatte that in no uncertain terms trainees which included himself also in this instance, will not be permitted to select instructors of their preference for training.

Capt. Rajind Ranatunga Head of Flight Operations

Capt. Ranatunga’s message to the CEO came hot on the heels after CEO Ratwatte changed the rosters of the scheduled Line Check Instructors after roster publication and handpicked Capt. Ranga Amadoru to conduct his first Line Check scheduled for 12th July 2017.

Capt. Ranatunga in his email to the CEO informed him that the flight he was scheduled to be checked on was the inaugural commercial flight the airline was to operate to Hyderabad. He went on to advice the CEO that the airline had never rostered any inaugural flights to be operated by trainee pilots, especially with a safety pilot on board.

This entire saga all came to light after CEO Ratwatte had got down his own instructors to conduct Ground School classes, Simulator Training and was on the verge of selecting his own Line Training Instructor too. This is when Capt. Ranatunga pointed out to the CEO that he is the authority pertaining to the Recruitment and Training of pilots and emphasized that it is his responsibility to maintain the standards expected by the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka.

A few days earlier Capt. Venura Perera the President of the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka had officially written to Capt. Ranatunga and had expressed his displeasure and also questioned the airline’s Board of Directors’ unprecedented move in offering CEO Ratwatte a virtual flying scholarship. This is as the entire Board of Directors disregarded the airline’s Pilot Recruitment policy, which eventually cost the tax payer around US $ 50,000. CEO Ratwatte was also exempted from having to face the rigorous intake procedure that all Captains’ usually face in such instances and moreover not having to sign the required bond.

Replying the Pilots Guild letter, Capt. Ranatunga informed them that he was merely following the instructions of the Board of Directors who were politically appointed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and who represent the majority of the stakeholders of the airline. (Chamindri Karannagoda)

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Latest comments

  • 22

    I am just sick of this bloody crap. Scrap the vanity project and save the money. What is the problem? There are hundreds of countries without a national airlines. Sri Lanka wanting to have a national airline is like a beggar wanting to wear a Rolex. Get your damn priorities right. ……………….. Andos cant organize a fart-up after a baked bean dinner; let alone run an airline. Ranil should lead with his brain; if he has one – not loyalties.

    • 8

      “”Ranil should lead with his brain; if he has one – not loyalties.””
      It’s the rulers and people who worshiped the gun for all its ills. Now you are pregnant with guns and Modi just received a dozen of the very best surveillance drones to be stationed at Andaman and Nicobar. Whoever comes to power will rule the people by the gun – soft or hard power. You did not protest when Prince and Cameron was there it was noted by all want to be rulers.A dozen; eleven want to steer.That junk won’t come to port, I fear.

    • 8

      Yesterday the Indian cabinet took an ‘in principle policy decision’ to privatise ‘AIR INDIA’. The cumulative loss as of now stands at Ind. Rs. 520 billion. The same decision is mandated for SriLankan AIRLINES. Will the government admit that it cannot manage an airline; by itself or in partnership and do likewise?

    • 9

      If the concern is about jobs, pay everyone involved with the airline twice their salary up to retirement; retrench them and scrap the airline. Even that way, in the long run, government will save more money. The government has a greater responsibility to the millions of citizens whose money they are wasting than to the couple of thousands airline staff. No point in throwing good money after bad on an airline that has rarely/never made any money.

  • 8

    Now can some genius tell me why the photocopied email ‘header’ is not displayed. And the same genius can tell the audiance how to take a printout of a email which we claimed to be sent!. This email was never sent but a showcase to show that Mr Ranatunga is a Iron Man!. All these Management Pilots are eating the airline from top to bottom. You can ask him directly how many appointments he made without a ‘SVN’ in his division. As a CEO Suren can do whatever he likes, however it’s ethical to contribute to training standards.

    • 24

      What do you mean a CEO can do whatever he (or she) likes? Is that your Sri Lankan style of CEO?

  • 0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 13

    What about his training and standards pilot who comes in company paid transport and still gets his driving + driver + fuel allowances!!!!

  • 15

    It is very clear that one of director who hold position of CEO is stabbing Suren Ratwatte to get him fired and take over as CEO again and pursue his own interests as has been proven in the past. He will make a bigger financial mess than Ratwatte. The President should sack the whole bunch and appoint a set of proven in corrupt professionals.

    • 1

      Wheels within wheels….

  • 6

    Oh poor Suren….
    CEO of a National Carrier
    Been told off by Manager Flight Operations.
    Reversed the high handed Act & abuse of power of this Trainee CEO who tried to Operate the inaugural flight
    Funny state of Affairs
    Wonder who should sack whom for the sake of safety of this sinking National carrier.
    Very soon even the VVIP flights will be operated by TRAINEE PILOTS
    May God protect our National carrier & VVIPS…..

  • 5

    Jealousy and envy of a top notch world class Pilot who flew the A-380 only for EK and was the first person along with Syed Hashim to fly the A-380 for EK. Only pilot to be commented on in Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”.. So much for Lankan Pilots. Typical Lankan envy. Everyone knows who is leaking information. It is the Director who wanted so badly to be made CEO and was angry that RW chose an honest man.

  • 5

    SriLankan airlines is a pariah airline. Look at it’s rewards program Smiles. Try going to that web site and redeeming a reward. It will tell you that your redemption can be picked up onboard and then you will not receive it onboard. Then try calling customer service when you land at CMB. They will drag you through several departments until finally you give up.

    Try redeeming a Hotel gift certificate. It comes with 1001 conditions. Will never fly this Pariah airline.

  • 4

    How about Rajind Ranatunga doing his simulator recurrent using his pets-la, like Training and Standards Chief and his henchmen. Now if Rajind can pick that guy as his check instructor – why not Suren???…………..

    And also when did last time Chief Pilot Training did his recurrents??? and with whome?

    This article is written like Rajind is Uthuwan Kande Saradiyel…!!! Lol!!!!

    “Back Off”….. ???? Back off Rajind!

  • 4

    type rating at sri Lankan airways is 32,000 us dollar without line training and still they don’t have a civil aviation n approved training manual….. so don’t boast here saying its over 50,000….. if doubt call their type rating lady manager…. nice lady!

  • 7

    Sri Lankan Airlines was the very best airline in the old days, comparing to B.A., KLM, Scandinavian, Indian etc etc BUT these idiots who happen to be our politicos have made an absolute mess. It still remains my favourite for service. I say, hand the airlines over to Harry Jayawardene: He will make it prosper. Of course, he too will benefit but its better than idiots whom we have voted for.

  • 5

    HFO Capt. Rajind: I congratulate you on the strengths shown to tell your CEO what is “Right” and “Wrong”. If all the Professionals in command of various Departments and Institutions have the “Courage” and “Forthrightness” in telling even their superiors what is RIGHT and WRONG, this country can be turned around and regained from the corrupted and lunatic political “Mafia”. Keep up the good work.

  • 3

    Looks like people have no other work than commenting on Srilankan airlines. Go and do your work people !!

  • 2

    This Rajind guy seems to be a posh (hi-fi) guy. Just look at his superb English

  • 1

    Oh omg. Looks we will end up in a crash. I am no longer flying this airline.

  • 0

    Why are you gentlemen wasting your time and energy commenting on money spinning rackets being run by the Yahapalanaya crooks, most of us voted for?

    The hiring of Ratwatte was flawed from the get-go. He never had the competency of managing his own affairs, let alone turning around an enterprise bleeding money on a daily basis.

    This was another of Ranil Wickremesinghe’s (I know what’s best) moves. There is a loooong list of those. Maybe someday when Sri Lankans grow some balls to institute a real commission of inquiry, we can find out how much our motherland has been screwed by Mr. Clean.

    Look no further than the allocation of the Lotteries Board to the other racketeer in the cabinet..Mr. best Finance Minister of Asia…even Donald Trump must having a laugh at our expense!! This was the blank check given to him, to move from the Finance Ministry to Foreign Affairs. Not much money to make in renting buildings for our embassies.

  • 1

    On the face of it, the Head of Flight Operations at UL might seem to have undermined the chain of command in refusing his CEO a facility that one would have expected him to have availed himself of, before being appointed as CEO (with political influence?).

    However the stance of the HFO should be commended for the courage it would have taken, laying his job on the line. The A320 training is only one of two available. For readers’ information, below I reproduce the requirements for line training of commercial pilots:

    Requirements to get line training are quite similar everywhere. This is a list of main requirements for line training program:

    — At least 100 hours as pilot-in-command of airplanes;
    — Type rating on a current aircraft;
    — Valid ME, IR (multi-engine, instrument rating);
    — Valid CPL or ATPL;
    — Valid Class 1 Medical Certificate;
    — MCC certificate of completion;
    — English level 4 according to ICAO requirements;

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