Flying tips for Mihin Lanka
By Reyyaz Salley

Mihin Lanka will be able to fly high only when it has a solid partner, such as another budget airline. Going along with Sajin Vaas Gunawardena would mean that the Treasury would have to print money, and that in US dollars, not Sri Lankan rupees.

Going for either wet or dry leases is not the way to solve Mihin Lanka’s problems. Mihin Lanka needs a steroid drink in order to get through the current crisis. When the President, with the best of intentions, floated the idea of a budget carrier, the management should have done their homework and consulted experts before getting into such a massive project involving other people’s money.

They had no business going on such a lavish spending spree and authorising such an exorbitant launch. This is supposed to be a “budget” airline! Meanwhile, we understand that the Ivanex Lanka Pvt Ltd chief executive believes Minin Lanka’s solution lies in a joint venture with another budget airline; and that Mihin Lanka owes the Treasury Rs. 330 million.Why should the Government be burdened with a budget airline’s woes when it has much more serious matters to worry about?

Merging with SriLankan Airlines or working on the same platform would only have a negative impact on SriLankan Airlines. We need a professional team to mange the airline, and the government should not interfere with the management. The airline should be standard economy capacity, and the catering should be handled by a very professional caterer. We need low-cost ground handling, or an alternative area should be found for Mihin Lanka.

A merger is not a good solution. Mihin Lanka has no foundation or infrastructure. Let’s merge with another budget airline until we recover the losses. Finally, an airline becomes profitable only in a country where there is zero government interference.

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