Business Times

SriLankan mulling over air taxi operations

SriLankan Airlines would continue to operate its air taxi flights despite the losses it is making since commencing this service. The airline observed that they would continue the service but there would be a different type of aircraft or operation and that they have no plans of terminating the service.

Chief Marketing Officer G.T. Jayaseelan speaking with the Business Times said they were likely to change the method of operation from the current wet lease to a dry lease agreement. With a wet lease operation the national carrier would provide fuel, airport fees, and any other duties and taxes and the aircraft would be provided by the company with the complete crew, maintenance and insurance.

On the other hand, under a dry lease agreement the airline obtains only the aircraft and it would be on the airline operator’s certification and provide the required aircraft registration as well. Currently, the airline is operating for a period of nearly two years and it was uncertain whether the national carrier would enter into a joint venture with a private operator as these are currently under discussion, Mr. Jayaseelan said.

The airline now operates its air taxi service on an ad hoc basis to Iranamadu, while progressing on work towards moving into Batticaloa, with substantial work already done in Trincomalee and still working on obtaining approvals for landing in Jaffna.

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