British Asia News Network
Sri Lanka:The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into irregularities at SriLankan airlines was told yesterday that SriLankan airlines is paying Rs.110 million a month for a grounded A330-200 aircraft which it acquired during the cancellation of the lease on three A350-900 airbuses in 2016/2017. Mahesh Nanayakkara, SriLankan’s Group Internal Auditor informed the Commission that the airline was paying Rs.1.3 billion a year for this grounded aircraft.
When investigating the evidence it was also revealed that the amount which SriLankan has been paying every month is not reflected in SriLankan airlines cash flow statements.The witness said the decision to acquire the three Airbuses was taken in 2013 and SriLankan airlines had hired ‘Seabury’, a famous international aviation consultancy firm as an external consultant to the Company during that year.
The Senior State Counsel asked the witness whether Seabury had adviced SriLankan Airlines on the acquisition of these aircraft as Seabury having partnered with the Airbus Company during several aircraft arrangements would have had the knowledge to do so.The witness was unable to provide a proper answer but informed the PCoI that as the Group Internal Auditor he was not aware that Seabury consultants provided the proper market rates at the time to SriLankan Airlines.
A report from COPE stated that Aercap, a company from which SriLankan was leasing the Airbuses, had initially asked the company to pay a penalty of US$115 million in lieu of terminating the agreement. However, Aercap had agreed to reduce the penalty to US$98 million based on several conditions at that time.