SriLankan Airlines To Sell Four New Airbus A350s

May 10, 2016

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SriLankan Airlines will sell four new Airbus A350s, a government minister said, two weeks after cancelling an order for four of the aircraft.

The state-owned carrier had already sold one of the four planes for a "reasonably good price" to a leasing company and is in talks with airlines over the other three, Deputy State Enterprise Minister Eran Wickramaratne said.

Although SriLankan needs more aircraft to expand, it does not need long-range planes like the A350, he said.

The airline, which is struggling with debts of around USD$3.25 billion, ordered eight A350s from Airbus in 2014.

SriLankan Airlines was a profitable 10-year joint venture with Emirates until the pair split in 2008.

Helped by lower oil prices, it posted a group net loss of LKR16.33 billion rupees (USD$113 million) for the financial year to March 31, after a LKR31.37 billion loss a year earlier.

The carrier last made a profit in 2009, a year after Emirates sold its stake in the venture.