Colombo, Jan 4 (newsin.asia) – The Sri Lankan government, on Thursday said it had appointed a five member panel to restructure the country’s national airline carrier which in recent years has been facing colossal losses.
The move comes after the government accepted the resignation of the Board members of Sri Lankan Airlines including its Chairman Ajith Dias after they tendered their resignation letters last month to support the government’s restructuring plans.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in April last year that the government has been in search of an international investor who can manage and invest in the airline after the airline began to accumulate losses when the previous regime changed its management from Emirates Airlines.
Wickremesinghe said the airline was facing up to a 3 billion dollar debt and termed it as a ‘landmine’ for the country’s economy.
Wickremesinghe blamed the previous administration for mismanaging the national airline which led to colossal losses.
Just last week, the Sri Lankan government said it had successfully negotiated a long-term credit package of 200 million U.S. dollars with the Credit Suisse Bank in order to keep Sri Lankan Airlines afloat.
State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeyardena said that out of the 200 million dollars, 50 million dollars was obtained as a short term loan facility.
The Sri Lankan government, led by President Maithripala Sirisena after being elected to office in 2015, ordered a criminal investigation into alleged corruption at Sri Lankan during the previous regime, saying it involved “billions of dollars”.
As a result of its mounting debts, Sri Lankan Airlines suspended its flights to Paris and Frankfurt from October and November last year, stating that the government had made it clear that it will no longer fund continuing losses.