Monday, October 10, 2016

SriLankan announces restructure plans, over 200 flts to be cancelled during BIA closure

Image result for sri lankan airlinedNational carrier SriLankan Airlines on Wednesday morning announced its future restructuring plans, takeover of Mihin Lanka and rebranding, returning four Airbus aircraft on order and changing strategies to operate as a regional carrier.

It was also announced that the airline would suffer a revenue loss of $47 million during the period of the closure of the Bandaranaike International Airport’s (BIA) runway from January 6 – April 6 with over 200 flights to be cancelled .

SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias told the media, that it had inherited “quite a mess” but had been able to reduce losses by 45 per cent with losses down at Rs.9.03 billion as at end March 2016 as opposed to Rs.11.5 billion losses reported in 2015.

In the five months of April – August of the FY losses were further reduced by 37 per cent with the group losses recording an improvement at Rs.2.32 billion compared to Rs.3.71 billion in 2015, Mr. Dias said.
In the sale of its leased aircraft from Airbus, the airline said that following some “hard negotiating” they were able to return some aircraft that this company doesn’t need, the Chairman explained terming it as “unnecessary aircraft.”

He noted that the four aircraft if they had taken over, the losses would have been completely “unbearable” adding that this would create an additional loss of US$480 million and if operated it would have created another US$1 million per year.

Negotiations were carried out together with the Ministries of Public Enterprise Development and Finance to terminate the contract on the leasing of four of the eight aircraft ordered, it was stated. - (SD)

More than 70 injured as bus falls into gorge at Agarapathana

More than 70 persons including school children were injured when a private bus fell into a  gorge in Agarapathana, local media reported.

According to police, the accident occurred at around 7.00 a.m. this morning due to a technical fault. An official attached to the Agarapathana Base hospital said that majority of the injured people have either been discharged from hospitals or are bing treated for minor injuries.

Five adults including the bus driver have too sustained injuries following the accident, it was reported.

Chinese national dies after falling off a train at Ambalangoda

Image result for chinese lady accidentA Chinese woman (25) died after falling off a train at the Madampagama, Ambalangoda Railway Station on Sunday morning, Police said.

Police said  the foreign national who was travelling on the foot-board of the express train plying from Galle to Colombo, died after she fell off the train on to the platform.

The body of the deceased was taken to the Balapitiya Hospital, following the magisterial inquiry, which was conducted by the acting magistrate of Balapitiya.

Foreign Minister explains G'ments position on SAARC postponement

Image result for mangala samaraweeraForeign Minister Mangala Samaraweera today clarified in Parliament the government's  position with  regards to the 19th SAARC Summit that was to be held in Islamabad on the 9th and 10th of November 2016, which was subsequently postponed.

The Minister, in a special statement to the House, said that some concerns were expressed regarding the statement issued by the Government in relation to the postponement of the SAARC Summit saying that the Government did not at any point pull out of the Summit.

“The General Provisions of the Charter of SAARC prescribes that “decisions at all levels shall be taken on the basis of unanimity”. Therefore, the moment one country says that they are unable to attend a SAARC Summit, a Summit cannot be held. There was, therefore, no question of Sri Lanka pulling out of SAARC, or Sri Lanka saying that we will not attend the Summit as there was no Summit to attend,” the Minister said.

He added that Sri Lanka issued a statement after several countries had informed the current Chair of SAARC, Nepal, formally, that they are unable to attend the Summit, and after the Chair, that is Nepal, issued a Statement as well.

“In our statement, we expressed regret that the prevailing environment in the region, with several countries having stated their inability to attend the Summit, is not conducive for holding the Summit on the 9th and 10th of November, and we expressed hope that the steps required to ensuring our region’s peace and security will be taken to create an environment that is conducive for the pursuit of regional cooperation,” he said.

The Minister said the country is committed to regional cooperation and stand ready to participate in the 19th SAARC Summit whenever it is being held.

“It is my solemn hope that this would be the moment that all the leaders in our region resolve to forget past failures, break with the past, and unite in good faith and in sincerity to work together for the greater good and greater benefit of the people of our region,” he said.