Aug 26 (NIA) – Sri Lanka’s national airline carrier will be making a loss of an estimated US 50 million dollars in revenue when the only runway at the Colombo international airport will be shut during much of the day for three months, the Economy Next citing officials said here on Friday.
Sri Lankan Airlines which is the largest single carrier out of the Bandaranaike International Airport will see 17 per cent of its seat capacity affected by the eight hour closure of the runway during the day from January 6 to April 6.
The Sri Lankan government last month said that the airport will be closed for eight hours a day during which a selected area of the runway would be renovated for four hours and allowed to cool down for another four hours.
The government said that a future airport project may include a second runway to support the Airbus A380, a further right passenger gates, a domestic terminal, a 5 storey car-park, and a 5 star hotel neighbouring the airport.
Construction of the new approach channels to the airport will begin in September 2016, and expected to be completed by 2020.
Sri Lankan Airlines is currently facing a staggering debt of nearly 3.5 billion US dollars with the government terming it as a ‘landmine’ for the country’s economy.
The losses mounted during the previous government of Mahinda Rajapakse as officials alleged that the SriLankan management used the national carrier more for fun and frolic.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in April said that the government would seek for an international partner to invest and manage the airlines and the state would bear up part of its debts.
Wickremesinghe, soon after being sworn to power last year in a parliamentary election, ordered a criminal investigation into alleged corruption at the national airline during the previous regime, saying that it involved ‘billions of dollars’.