27-Apr-2016 11:03 AM

Sri Lanka to look for partner to invest in SriLankan Airlines, to absorb debt of USD3.2bn

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a media conference held of 26-Apr-2016 and posted on his official Facebook account, stated (26-Apr-2016) Sri Lanka is looking for an airline or investor to acquire a stake in SriLankan Airlines and offered to absorb its debt of USD3.2 billion. The Prime Minister warned that if the government did not acquire the airline's debt burden there is a danger of the airline collapsing and the tourism industry will also collapse along with the airline. "This is a huge debt the airline is not able to pay. If it continues as it is, the airline will collapse which will have an adverse impact on tourism and the economy and, we cannot allow that to happen". He added: "If it continues as it is, SriLankan will collapse which will have an adverse impact on the economy and tourism... We cannot allow that to happen. We have decided to seek a new partner." He concluded: "We have to either close it down or partner with a private company. The government cannot put more money into the airline and burden the people". The company reported a net loss of PKR16.33 billion (USDD112.57 million) for the 12 months to 31-Mar-2016. The carrier last posted a profit in 2009, a year after Emirates sold its stake in the venture.

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