Sri Lankan Airlines Restructuring Looms, Putting 6,000 Jobs at Risk

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PUBLISHED 02 July 2023

Sri Lankan Ports and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has warned that the national carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines, may be forced to restructure, putting the jobs of approximately 6,000 employees at risk.

The minister said that the government can no longer afford to sustain the airline's financial losses, which have reached $1.2 billion. He added that it would be unfair to continue using taxpayer funds to prop up the airline.

To address the current situation, the government has taken steps to seek assistance from international financial experts. The objective of this initiative is to ensure a transparent restructuring process for the airline.

The minister said that the restructuring plan involves the government retaining a 51 percent share in the airline, while the remaining 49 percent will be made available to potential private sector investors.

The proposal for the restructuring of the airline was submitted to the Sri Lankan cabinet six months ago. However, the minister said that the government is still waiting for approval from the cabinet.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sri Lankan Airlines served over 40 international destinations. However, these operations were interrupted due to the pandemic.


The minister said that the airline is currently operating at a loss of $1 million per day. He added that the restructuring plan is necessary to ensure the long-term viability of the airline.