Fears of sabotage, tight security at BIA
Fears of sabotage of SriLankan Airlines aircraft have prompted a CID inquiry at BIA and tighter security measures there. These fears come in the wake of a ding-dong battle now under way between the management of SriLankan Airlines and technical staff over a series of outstanding issues including pay.

The Sunday Times has learnt that 11 engine failures have been reported in the Sri Lankan fleet of A 320 and A330 aircraft operating on short haul routes in the region. All these failures have been attributed to FOD or Foreign Object Damage and the Pilots Guild is learnt to have alleged that most of them were acts of sabotage.

On March 26, an Airbus 320 engine is said to have been damaged by a foreign object whilst in Colombo. On April 1, an Airbus 330 which was making a landing approach had encountered engine surge problems and was found to have been damaged by a foreign object.

On April 20, an Airbus 330 engine is reported to have been damaged by a foreign object whilst the aircraft was on a flight to Hong Kong. On April 23, an Airbus 320 that had been taxiing out from Cochin in India had also found its engine damaged by a foreign object.

SriLankan Airlines Flight Operations Manager, Milinda Ratnayake is learnt to have raised with the management, the serious problems arising out of this situation. However, Mr. Ratnayake was not available for comment yesterday. An official said he was away commanding a flight and would not return to Colombo until early next week.

Chandana de Silva, Head of Corporate Communications of SriLankan Airlines when contacted by The Sunday Times said that to his knowledge he had not heard of any complaint about sabotage, but confirmed that there was a trade union dispute with the technical staff and this is being discussed with the management.

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