26 June, 2019

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SriLankan Airlines; Parliament Reveals UL Loss Is Over 100 Billion: The Unknown Side

By Rajeewa Jayaweera

Rajeewa Jayaweera

Rajeewa Jayaweera

It was not my intention to write a second part to what I wrote on 6 February 2015. However considering some of the comments from the readership and by some others, I felt some clarification would be in order or rather was necessary. The general perception is that Air Lanka / SriLankan Airlines was an expensive toy of the rulers of the day and a few of the elite – all at the expense of the tax payer. Even though there is some truth in it, it is indeed not the whole truth. Contrary to general perception, the national carrier has played a pivotal role both in helping the nation’s economy and welfare of its people by bringing the world to Sri Lanka and taking Sri Lanka to the world.

I list below a few areas in which the national carrier has played a crucial part in both the nation’s economy and its people’s welfare.

Tourism

Sri Lanka recorded its highest tourist arrivals in the winter season of 1982/83. A downward trend in arrival figures commenced after July 1983. As tourist arrivals plunged, legacy carriers calling in Colombo such as British Airways, Swiss Air, KLM and UTA gradually dropped Sri Lanka from their route networks. Charter carriers began calling in Sri Lanka. However their operations were seasonal due to the closure of the East coast for tourists. Only a few carriers such as Gulf Air, Saudia, Kuwait Airways and Emirates operated to Colombo. None of them operated daily flights. Names such as Qatar Airways, Etihad, Oman Air and Cathay were non-existent. Singapore Airlines and Thai operated from the East. Even though tourist arrivals had declined, the tourism did not fold up. It chugged along with its ups and downs. During this period, Air Lanka notwithstanding its faults and short comings played a crucial role in keeping the tourism industry alive. Any travel agent who was around in the 1980s and 1990s will vouch for it. By early 1990s, the national carrier was carrying around 55% of tourist arrivals to the country. Those dependent on the tourism industry were not only the employees of Hotels and Travel Agencies but also employees and families of ancillary services such as Tourist Guides, Taxi Divers, Gem, Batik, Handicraft industries, Restaurants to name a few. In 1990, Sri Lanka hosted the Skal World Congress which is a large gathering of senior travel trade personal from all over the world and an ideal opportunity to show case our destination. In addition, Sri Lanka has hosted the smaller Asian Skal Congress on three other occasions. The national carrier came forward to carry attending delegates and their spouses providing rebated travel thus contributing towards the promotion of tourism. In 2012 the national carrier flew in 40% of the 1 mil tourists who visited Sri Lanka (source SLTDA).

SriLankan Airline

Employment and Other Traffic

Several Middle Eastern embassies in Colombo openly favoured their own carriers and discriminated against the national carrier by issuing visas only for applications supported with tickets issued by their own national carriers. Nevertheless, as much as 50% of our labour traffic departing to the Middle East for employment was carried by the national carrier despite the many hurdles faced. If not for the national carrier, the numbers proceeding to Middle East would have been substantially less and slower.

Medical Patients, Pilgrims and Traders

Until private airlines started up in India, Indian Airlines had one flight a day from Chennai to Colombo whereas the national carrier operated flights to Chennai, Trivandrum, Trichy and Mumbai. Delhi was started in 1992. Large numbers of medical Patients, Traders and Buddhist, Christian and Hindu Pilgrims used the national carrier for travel between Sri Lanka and India. In addition, the national carrier granted free travel to all citizens receiving financial grants from the President’s Fund for medical treatment abroad in the event required treatment was not available locally.

Development of Human Resources

Employees of the national carrier especially in the fields of Pilots, Cabin Crew, Engineering and Ground Handling after receiving being trained secured employment in the Middle East which improved their economic status as well as increased foreign exchange remittances to Sri Lanka. During my stint as Air Lanka’s Manager in Oman, I recollect over 250 ex Air Lanka ground staff working for Oman Aviation at the Muscat airport. I believe the situation was similar in many Middle Eastern airports.

Promotion of Sports and National Events

For a long time, the national carrier assisted national sports teams by way of rebated travel when proceeding for international events at a time when few foreign carriers were calling in Colombo and that too with limited frequencies. SAARC Games in 1991 was held in Colombo. The national carrier carried all the contingents from participating countries, officials and journalists attending the event on free and rebated tickets.

Exports

One of the reasons for the setting up of the FTZ in Katunayake was the proximity to the Airport and the ability for finished goods requiring to be air freighted to be shipped out speedily. The national carrier provided much needed support for exporters in the carriage of air freight. Vegetables, Fruits, Cut Flowers and Ornamental Fish were products requiring to be air freighted in which the national carrier played an important role. During a certain period, the national carrier operated two Cargo Freighters to several South Indian destinations and Maldives which boosted national exports.

Mercy Flights

Iraq invaded Kuwait on 2 August 1990. It resulted in the exodus of foreign labour to nearby countries. Over 30,000 Sri Lanka refugees crossed over from Kuwait to Jordan and were scattered in Refugee Camps all over Jordan. The national carrier was entrusted the task of providing air transportation. To carry out such a task besides our normal operations already hampered due to the need to divert our flights away from the war zone was a difficult task. However, the President of the day was not a man who took no for an answer and the national carrier got down to the task. The national carrier used its own aircraft whenever ground time could be squeeze out for quick turnaround flights to Amman and back with intermediate stops in Dubai. In addition, the IOM provided Sri Lanka with three aircraft (Anatov or Ilyushin – I forget) with a seating capacity of nearly 500 per aircraft. Russian Pilots and Cabin Crew came with the aircraft. The national carrier was tasked with the administration of these flights. Empty flights would take off from Colombo, land in Dubai for fuelling and uplift of meals, proceed to Amman, load up refugees and return to Dubai for refuelling and uplift of meals before returning to Colombo. Most of the Russian crew did not speak a word of English. We therefore dispatched 6 – 8 volunteers from our staff in each flight to communicate with the passengers. They were not paid. Only duty leave was granted. I was responsible for the catering aspect of all mercy flights. I recollect suggesting we provide Biriyani meals for the passengers and being immediately shot down by the Company Medical Officer who pointed out that having endured near starvation conditions in refugee camps, they should be not be given any heavy meals but light snacks and fruits. I bowed to the superior knowledge of the Company Medical Officer on dietary requirements and placed orders for Sandwiches and Fruits from Dubai ! We then discovered that some Russian crew members were pilfering the fruits and distributing only sandwiches. Two of my colleagues and I decided to make spot checks by shuttling between Dubai and Colombo travelling up in empty flights and returning in flights carrying refugees thus containing the problem. That was an instance when everybody in the airline rose to the occasion to do their bit. We received no thanks for our efforts. However we had the satisfaction of having done our bit in assisting our compatriots in distress. I have no doubt that the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives and children of those we brought home would forever be thankful to the national carrier.

These are but a few instances which come to my mind of the yeomen service performed by the national carrier to the nation and its people. I have no doubt that some of my ex colleagues would be able to elaborate further. When making business decisions, it should not be done with emotion. Nevertheless, when hurling brick bats, it is also necessary to give bouquets where necessary. Regardless of the abuse by successive governments over which we had no control and regular brick bats, the writer is proud to have been associated with the national carrier. I have little doubt that many of my former colleagues share my sentiments. 

The writer worked for Air Lanka / SriLankan Airlines for 16 years

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Latest comments

  • 7
    1

    Rajeewa,

    Why the sudden turn around.

    The fact is the national carrier was a toy for the government elite who abused its purported purpose. The fact is it ran a massive loss and continued to do so. The fact is the Chairman was neither competent to run an airline nor have the discipline needed to enforce standards are met. The fact is the tourists would have come using so many other reliable airlines if the loss making Sri Lankan airlines was removed from the equation. The fact is an airline ten times smaller could have carried our citizens employed in the Middle East to and fro making a profit in the process. Why on heavens earth did we order so many new airbuses when we could not generate enough clientele even for the existing aircraft (kickbacks and commissions Rajeewa).

    We must not try to whitewash the utter corruption that prevailed during the last regime least is the use of a national carrier for personal purposes.

    • 4
      3

      BBS Rep,

      SriLankan Airline never made business sense because of its perennially inept management:

      They hooked up with SIA and then Emirates, and those guys found the Sinhalese partners not conducive to operate a profitable business out of the airline. So they quietly disentangled themselves.

      So the airline is making more and more losses. It may be better to charter air-crafts to do the jobs Rajeewa Jayaweera is talking about for a smaller loss of money, or even a small profit.

    • 7
      2

      “The fact is the national carrier was a toy for the government elite who abused its purported purpose. “

      Absolutely true! Special bi-weekly , near-empty flights to deliver dew-fresh cut flowers to Japan to promote the floral business of a Presidents son-in-law, special unscheduled flight from Switzerland to deliver a pedigreed puppy dog to a Presidents goon brother, special re-routed flight from Bangkok to deliver a hair-piece to the first lady for an official function she was to attend in Colombo later in the day. Boy! they never had it so good. Come on Rajeewa, with your years of experience Im sure you can expose much more instances of abuse by the powers that be which has now resulted in the loss of this 100 billion. Why the sudden turnaround. Did you just happen to see a White Van come down your lane?

      • 3
        0

        You are absolutely right. This anomaly is pervasive in all of the State owned industries in Sri Lanka. The talentless people at the top were all political appointments and under obligation to the politicians who appointed them. Remember the massive losses by the Petroleum Corporation through the diabolical hedge fund contract entered into by incompetent managers, I believe deliberately, in return for kickbacks and lavish gifts. The contract terms duplicity would have been spotted by a 7-year-old. To put it simply, ‘If the price of oil went up, CPC was covered upto a limit, but if the price went down CPC’s payment was limitless’. Tourism is essential for our economy and after a 30 year decline it only just began to grow, but a bright spark in government decided we should cancel the visa on arrival facility and introduce an inconvenient revenue earning exercise for potential tourists.

    • 0
      0

      2008/2009 financial year srilankan air line PROFIT was Rs 9 thousand million ( in sinhala kooti 900 ). This was when air line was with emirates. From 2009 to 2014 the Lost is Rs 110 thousand millions ( Rs 110 billions) ( in Sinhala kooti 11000)

  • 8
    4

    Think twice before getting into a Srilankan Airline flight. There are news reports that Pilots creating Flight Stimulation conditions in live flights. In one such incident the Pilot has turned off the Engine.

    In another incident Both pilots exited the pilot cabin and fortunately the automatic pilot cabin door did not close, if that had happened it would have been another MH370.

    • 5
      0

      Source of this information – Sunday Times LK

  • 0
    0

    As a former UL’r I share your sentiments. Your post is a counter to what Dale writes in another column.

  • 5
    4

    Rajiv

    The fact remains that we just cannot afford a loss of Rs 100 bn in 5 years upto 2014.

    2015 loss is another Rs 20 billion more and every month the loss is close to Rs 2 billion.

    Are you aware that we could have built 100 hospitals at Rs 1 bn each with 500 beds each?

    Are you aware that we have subsidized 50% of the passengers who are overseas nationals ?

    The concept of a national airline is an ego issue. Successive govts have done this.

    Are you aware that Maldives get 1 million tourists on an yearly basis without a national airline like ours?

    Just close it down. We cannot compete with industry heavy weights like Emirates and Etihad and Qatar from the East and Singapore Airlines and Cathay from the East. Why would you want to fly Sri Lankan when you can fly these carriers with much better connections at the same price?

    Are you aware that almost all South Asian carriers such as Air India and PIA are Biman from Bangkadesh are bankrupt?

    Enough is enough.

  • 4
    0

    “”I have little doubt that many of my former colleagues share my sentiments. “”

    Everybody’s opponent is wrong, that’s how it begins.

    The end is generally ones imagination. Surreal.!

    Golden memories…..au revoir! Its all in relativity of value.

  • 5
    0

    The day Sri Lankan airlines has a Chairman, CEO and Board of Directors who have a clue about running an airline, then we can take a sigh of relief. Until then, we will have to endure the never-ending series of losses every year from a badly managed airline with ABSOLUTELY no Marketing and Operations strategy. Look at the route network and you can understand why they are living month to month!

    They state operational profits, without deducting the fixed and long-term charges to those profits and keep hood-winking the people of Sri Lanka. This nonsense has been happening from the time JRJ chose his son’s friend Rakkitha Wickremenayake to be Chairman, till today. Rakkitha leased an aging Boeing 747 to start flights to Australia when there was no plan beyond just flying to Aussie. And to cap it, the lease agreement went up by $25 Million, from the final fax to the next fax, on the man’s orders. How do I know? I was there. Don’t ask who got what.I know the people of Sri Lanka lost and have been on the losing side of this company ever since.

  • 9
    0

    So you are saying lost by politicians is ok because national carrier helps economy and people welfare? my question as an ordinary citizen without any economic background,
    1. can an institute help economy and people welfare while it’s running on lost?

    2. Airlanka and sri lankan airlines help people welfare by providing free/discounted air tickets for patients and pilgrims To support welfare?

    3. If lost due to the chepest air lines like air india , indian expres etc etc, it means sri lankan’s fare is higher than others? If so what made for the higher fare and what management did to attact travelers?

    4. If lost in tourism because of east coast wasnt accessible, more lost reported after war was over.. worst lost 2012, 2013 and so. Again the problem was there somewhere else And we people know.

    5.if you could recollect 100s of airlankan trained staffS…. WHy they left? Is it because of poor pay (as you Claim it was helping economy and seems you picture it was running on profit)? So staffs got less wages while higher management people and authorities get their max?

    6. We people know sri lankan was making good profit when it was with emirates. so isnt something to do with the management and our sri lnakan managers and authorities are not enough capacity to operate the institution and plan?

    7. Do you think we have poor managers, marketers, executives in their seats just worry about their personal wealth rather running the institution in profit?

    8. Not only air lanka/sri lankan did mercy flights, there are oher carriers did and running their bussiness successfully.

    May be you are clean with managerial skills, but justifying National carrier’s lost by its past services is not acceptable at all. Other carriers too do the all operations you mentioned here but making good profit.

    I’m a frequent traveler via dubai to europe country and north america, sri lankan’s fare is far higher than emirates, do you have any justification on in flight service Compare with emirates?

    People know what national carrier provide with higher prices and taxes. Im not sure on this, but heard BIA’s higher taxes force biggest airlines to not to touch BIA.

    we dont promote other airlines to touch BIA to make good income rather we impose higher taxes and surges to get max out of regular airlines touching BIA and loosing them in long run as they look for better air ports in their routes.

    We dont improve the current system rather look for new alternatives. Without improve the BIA we built MRIA With no flights. Now going to build a new terminal at BIA. Could have built new terminal at BIA wih far cheaper than building a new air port At unknown location. entire staffs working at mattala airport are more than enough to add to BIA work force and give much better and fastest services effectively.

    It clearly shows that our so called educated executives at goverment institutions and departments are with poor managerial skils and no knowledge of plan anything for future.

    Its so sad to see your article talking about our national carrier’s history. You suppose to write an article about future of our national carrier. That is what we people are talking, no one is there to write an article on what needs to be done with airlines to support our economy and welfare you are talking about. Not what our carrier did in past. This where we are lack on planing and executions.

    You know, I know and the people know why UL is running like this For decades specially last decade.

    • 5
      0

      I think you just shot Rajeewa Jayaweera point by point.

  • 3
    0

    I too am proud to have been with the national airline of my country for over 23 years despite the trials tribulations that I had to face while working for my motherland airline. Literally all the employees then felt strongly for the airline well illustrated by many of them putting extra hours of work yet not claiming any overtime expenses. There were those who worked almost daily, coming in at 0700 AM and could be seen in office even after 0700 PM not just weekdays but in weekends too. I also vividly remember the day, 24th July 2001 when due to terrorists attacks airline lost three planes. During the post terror attack meeting on how to continue the operations, I remember seeing faces of fellow colleagues with tears streaming down their cheeks, yet the strong will written all over their faces saying like “we shall overcome”. It all boils down to Leadership, Doing The Right Things and Management, Doing The Things Right. With right Leadership this airline Sri Lankan Airlines can once again scale the dizzying heights and can be best not just in Asia but perhaps in the whole world. Sabbe Saththa Bhavanthu Sukithaththa.

  • 2
    0

    Hi Jagath

    Do not be so sure. The day UL shuts down operations as you are requesting, the airfares from Colombo will be double the current prices and country will bleed Billions of Dollars perhaps through the airline remittances out from Sri Lanka.

  • 2
    2

    Dear Rajeeva,

    All you have said in your two articles are the true incidents that led to the downfall of the national carrier. I think you and I are two old for the job of reviving it but with the knowledge, experience and honesty of you and your then colleagues, there is at least a way forward. Please join hands with the present team of the real ‘Yahapalanaya’ and guide them in the process of revival. I am sure you are not a person with qualities of the corrupt, uneducated and thieving individuals of the ‘Jarapassa’ regime.
    Metta.

  • 5
    0

    Anyone here happens to know that during the Premadasa regime., Air Lanka flights was to drop the passengers at Tokyo Narita Airport and then the plane will fly again to a smaller city Fukuoka ONLY with cargo.

    Interestingly the cargo is Cut flowers from HueJay Intl the company owned by the family of first daughter is married to.

    How feasible is this venture? My guess is a total disastor. Please update us wiht some facts.

    Now we have Premadasa Jnr for the YahaPalana and make a big noise of corruption of MaRa regime.

    • 1
      0

      Come on Matilda,
      We all know that his wings (Sajith’s) have been clipped and the powers are limited. The real opposition (JVP) is a lot stronger than before. So, why not give the kid a break. A lot of people love his father for the little good he did for the poor. I know where you are coming from as I was brought up among the ‘Kandyans’ ( I am not being bias here) and happen to be living close to your residence. That way of thinking was not approved by the ‘Enlightened One’. Get your ‘Middle Path’ thinking cap on. Cant’ you see, it’s a battle between two spoilt kids, Sajith vs. Namal.

      • 3
        0

        My foot! Sajith & Namal- KIDS? Maybe, maybe, they still haven’t got out of puberty and are still masturbating under the sheets.

        • 0
          0

          That is exactly what I meant. Well done!

  • 1
    0

    We all know that this National Airline is a heavy burden and more than a “White Elephant”. Yet having taken into consideration the aviation history of the country, and the benefits that would come to us, this Public Venture has to be “resurrected” for the benefit of the nation. It is now up to the Government and the public to come up with some concrete proposals to “resurrect” it. In this regard, I would propose:

    1. An “Industry Competent” consultancy group must be enlisted to draw a very comprehensive and a workable “Corporate Plan” to be followed for the next five years.
    2. In its implementation, “No political or otherwise” interference must be allowed or tolerated. In other words it has to be a “NO NONSENSE” management of the airline.
    3. In the plan a clear identification must be made of the “Operating Revenue” fields, such as Passenger, Cargo, Excess Baggage, Mail Handling etc. Along with that another important field of :Non Operating Revenues, such as Ground Handling, On board Duty Free Sales, Training Facilities that could be sold to outsiders etc. must be looked at carefully.
    4. The next would be to take a “Hard Look” at the existing ROUTES and evaluate the cost effectiveness of such operations and compare with the revenue generation. IF any “unproductive” routes are in the system such must be totally eliminated or curtailed to minimize the losses.
    5. All usage by the Government has to be billed to the respective Ministries at commercial value and monies collected forthwith. No VIP will be provided with any type of “FREE” or “DISCOUNTED” tickets. If any of the aircraft is to be deployed fully, the commercial value of such deployment must be collected from the Govt. Ministry responsible for such ‘renting”
    6. If after a “Route Evaluation” there is a route restructuring and as a result any aircraft are found to be in “excess” of the requirement, those must be “LEASED” out to other airlines and earn additional “Revenues.” In the alternative such excess aircraft must be put on sale and lesson the burden of “Debts”.
    7. A very comprehensive look at the “Human Resources” requirements to meet such revised operations must be evaluated and any redundancies will have to be spaced out even by way of “buying out” retirements and compensatory lay offs.
    8. More than anything else, a very ‘COMPETENT BOARD OF MANAGEMENT” must be put in place to handle the entire operations with ACCOUNTABILITY and TRANSPARENCY.

    These are some of the thoughts, I have for the moment.

  • 2
    1

    Mr.Rajeewa Jayaweera,
    I am sad to know that you have been one in the staff working for 16 years for the downfall of the Sri Lankan Airlines and t loose 100 billion as loss.You guys ran this Airline according to your whims and wishes. The patriot Sri Lankans did not want to leave their National carrier and fly away in other airlines, though you guys screwed it up till now. Very good a committee of Inguiry has been set in by the Minister-in-charge of Aviation and the Sri Lankan Airlines.The comprehensive terms of reference should also give an opportunity to enable the Sri Lankans, living abroad or domiciled abroad and to the Sri Lankan expatriates, especially housemaids and semiskilled Sri Lankans who use Sri Lankan Airlines for their travel, either for employment purposes of for visits from all over the world to Sri Lanka, their motherland to see their kith and kin. They have a lot to tell about the bad flight management, corrupt practices,negative customer relation practices and PR practiced by the in-flight and ground staff and administrative staff of the airlines which has been a major setback and cause for the failure of the Airlines to compete in the world airlines market.
    Noor Nizam – Canada.
    (A frequent visitor to Sri Lanka flying Sri Lanka Airlines)

  • 0
    0

    I am keen to compare the numbers used by Srilankan airlines and the SL Transport Board(SLTB). Both are subsidized by the state (taxpayers). If the losses of Srilankan is skyhigh, it is better to pump that money to boost the ground transport which is used by millions of people. The LOSS per head would be reduced. We would have a better ground transport system for everyday use, and save the country of its fuel bill and traffic jams. (Of course I have not calculated loss per passenger per km basis, which still may be high)

  • 1
    1

    Hi Rajeewa,

    Appreciate your views, but as a person who currently works for one of the biggest airline in the Sothern hemisphere (with a fleet over 370) I see major issues with the Sri Lankan airlines strategy and execution of its plan.

    As we all agree from the inception there were many political involvements/influence to run the air line in SL. The strategy for the airline was formed by the respective governments from time –time and the bitter truth is 90% of the top executives were hired to run the national carrier with without considering any prior aviation experience!!!!

    That’s the start of the downfall… (From Nishatha, Kapila et al ) never had aviation industry experience..

    Especially after Peter left we did not have CEO run the airline (In my opinion both politicos –UNP & SLFP are responsible for this). If UNP & SLFP wants to give some positions to their kith and kines then should be appointed to manage places such as RAJYA KAJU SANSTAWA but please not the national flag carrier.

    Issue with the current UAL strategy

    1. People Strategy – Utter failure, from the top (Nishantha, Kapila +Current Chairman) have no aviation industry experience. I recon Rajeev + HR in Sri Lankan is also partially responsible for this blunder). Can anyone publish how Kapila became the CEO ? on what ground ? What he did in Melbourne before becoming the CEO Sri Lankan ?????? If Sri Lanka cricket can hire an international coach , then why can Sri Lankan Airline hire a to CEO to turn it around ?

    2. Commercial Strategy – Two brad strategy works (with Mihin Lanka) only if one doesn’t eat the market of the other). Need to select the routes to satisfy the politicos but to meed the customer demands

    3. Service Quality – This needs to be reviewed and fixed when necessary and routine… OTA (On time Arrival, safety, customer stats all counts)… Sri Lankan Airline currently not even giving a customer feedback form on board …and why??? [If there is a problem with the service we should tackle head on but without the feedback how would you know???

    4. Communication – What’s our short term and long term strategy – I ask this question from many of my friends (specially pilots) who work for UL, but know one knows… that clearly explain why we are in this current strategy…

    • 0
      0

      So you recon Rajeev? The author of this article?

  • 0
    0

    What a stuoidity for the writer to cover up the blunders made by MR and his cronies. We expected better evaluation from an employee if he had been there for 16 years.

  • 1
    1

    Appreciate your views, but as a person who currently works for one of the biggest airline in the Sothern hemisphere (with a fleet over 370) I see major issues with the Sri Lankan airlines strategy and execution of its plan.

    As we all agree from the inception there were many political involvements/influence to run the air line in SL. The strategy for the airline was formed by the respective governments from time –time and the bitter truth is 90% of the top executives were hired to run the national carrier with without considering any prior aviation experience!!!!

    That’s the start of the downfall… (From Nishatha, Kapila et al ) never had aviation industry experience..

    Especially after Peter left we did not have CEO run the airline (In my opinion both politicos –UNP & SLFP are responsible for this). If UNP & SLFP wants to give some positions to their kith and kines then should be appointed to manage places such as RAJYA KAJU SANSTAWA but please not the national flag carrier.

    Issue with the current UAL strategy

    1. People Strategy – Utter failure, from the top (Nishantha, Kapila +Current Chairman) have no aviation industry experience. I recon Rajeev + HR in Sri Lankan is also partially responsible for this blunder). Can anyone publish how Kapila became the CEO ? on what ground ? What he did in Melbourne before becoming the CEO Sri Lankan ?????? If Sri Lanka cricket can hire an international coach , then why can Sri Lankan Airline hire a to CEO to turn it around ?

    2. Commercial Strategy – Two brad strategy works (with Mihin Lanka) only if one doesn’t eat the market of the other). Need to select the routes to satisfy the politicos but to meed the customer demands

    3. Service Quality – This needs to be reviewed and fixed when necessary and routine… OTA (On time Arrival, safety, customer stats all counts)… Sri Lankan Airline currently not even giving a customer feedback form on board …and why??? [If there is a problem with the service we should tackle head on but without the feedback how would you know???

    4. Communication – What’s our short term and long term strategy – I ask this question from many of my friends (specially pilots) who work for UL, but know one knows… that clearly explain why we are in this current strategy…

  • 1
    1

    No point talking about Fukuoka Cut flower era, Capt.Rakitha’s 747 Qantas era or even ministers changing First class tickets to economy and flying in F class with senior managers approval…That’s history. Let’s talk about today. This airline still got capable people shoved in storage and intentionally kept away. Before talking huge management theories speak to the field, front line staff, if you can get them to talk.The Rajapakse’s modus-operandi stands here too. don’t ask don’t speak. If this newly elected panel wants a kick start, speak to key managers around the world,speak to ordinary staff,they will tell you.They know this company in and out.Our country must learn to ask and not to keep telling. This has been our down fall.

    • 2
      0

      I think we need to take out all the management and excutives(theives) out of office except ground, minor and other staffs and replace with young and tallented people. We should not have anyone who talk about history when UL running in massive corruption and lost. We need people who are good planers, thinkers can make good plan in long and short run of UL. In short, we need a good plan and execute them to minimize the lost but still run smoothly. In long run how it can help country’s economy and contribute to people welfare.

      We people dont know china airways is going to start its service to sri lanka. Within a night they started. But BA going to terminate it services from march. while china airways is giving service with cheaper price, as a result UL is going to loose most of its passengers to/from china.

      These stupids are talking sri lanka’s strategic location in the indian ocean to get their political advantage and fill their own pocket and wealth. No idea how to turn lanka’s location more profitable and let citizens to enjoy the benifit.

      Talking history of UL to justify his masters corruption is not acceptable at all.

    • 2
      0

      @migara

      “No point talking about Fukuoka Cut flower era, Capt.Rakitha’s 747 Qantas era or even ministers changing First class tickets to economy and flying in F class with senior managers approval…That’s history.”

      Why no point??? History repeats itself you IDIOT!

  • 0
    1

    Hi Jay
    Did you know that when,
    1) Peter came in April 1998 as CCO UL had 6 aircraft as assets and $ 153 Million in the bank. It also had SITA shares which were worth nearly $ 100 Million.
    2) When Emirates handed back the airline to Sri Lanka in march 2008 all planes had been sold and leased back and no assets of its own with UL. Company cash box was empty.
    3) Did you know that during emirates days UL inflight service gave water cups bought from UAE and not from Sri Lanka.
    4) Did you know that the most profitable route of UL in 2003/04, Colombo/Zurich was suddenly cancelled and then Head of Commercial kicked out to Japan and and Australian taking over position.

    • 3
      0

      I think Jayaweera knows everything as we ordinary people know more details in fingertips. Therefore, no doubt Jayaweera knows at least something :). Probably Jayaweera is looking for a executive position in the new gov by picturing his duties as he recollected 100s of ex staffs and during his period UL was running smoothly… I believe we ordinary sri lankans can run gov institutes better than these so called executives…

    • 1
      0

      To Spur

      1.Correct

      2.Correct, in fact the 2007/8 profit ( during the last management year of Emirates and Mr Peter Hill ) was entirely due to the profit made on sale of 3 A340 aircraft. If not for the Rs 5 billion profit realised on this, that year too the airline would have lost heavily

      Source for 1 & 2 SriLankan Airlines annual reports

      3.Correct, this was changed when management reverted

      4.Incorrect. Zürich flight at the time was making the highest per flight loss on Europe and then Chief Marketing rightly so supported its removal. However in 2011 when the flight was reintroduced it had the highest passenger yield for Europe, the very same Chief Marketing cancelled it , apparently due to some other personal reasons. SriLankan travel agents in Swiss can shed light on this.

      Similarly the removal of the Chief Marketing at the time was transferred out on alleged impropriety. No proof here except to ask Mr Hill who is now a consultant to SriLankan Airlines. The Australian who replaced him, Mr Barry Brown however unpopular was a professional, currently he is the Divisional Senior VP in Emirates, the second highest position in their commercial division

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        Good to know that at least there is one person who thinks that Barry Brown is a “Professional” when most of us would agree that he is just a glorified baggage Boy who carried out various errands for his Bosses thus landing Higher positions.Those who had the opportunity to work with him knows his capabilities

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        Some corrections,

        1) Zurich flight was removed by then CCO Barry Brown and CEO Peter Hill. First they tried it but Sri Lanka HOC demonstrated that it is making money. Then Peter removed the Lankan and put Barry who pulled the Zurich flight out. Coincidentally emirates begun their second flight from Dubai to Zurich at the very same time.
        2) Brown is no professional but an amateur. He got into Emirate by fixing Qantas with Emirates

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