SriLankan Airlines Privatization as Part of IMF Program, CEO Confirms


Richard Nuttall, CEO of SriLankan Airlines, has confirmed that the government is moving forward with the privatization of several state-owned enterprises, including the national carrier, as part of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) program. Speaking to ANI, Nuttall outlined the steps being taken towards privatization, including government efforts to stabilize the airline's balance sheet, expected to conclude in the next one to two months.

Nuttall revealed that the search for investors has narrowed down to three candidates, following an initial expression of interest process that ended in April. While no Indian companies are involved, one consortium includes some Indian members.

The CEO also discussed the airline's expansion plans, projecting fleet growth from 21 to 25 aircraft over the next year. The expansion will focus on increasing frequencies to existing destinations, particularly in India and Southeast Asia, rather than adding new routes.

Amid Sri Lanka's economic challenges, Nuttall noted that more Sri Lankans are working abroad, which benefits the airline. He also highlighted the strong recovery in the tourism sector, with visitor numbers returning to pre-pandemic levels and a significant increase in tourists from India.