New SriLankan board plots forward flight path

Wednesday, 4 April 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Officials to accelerate restructuring process to attract strategic investor   
  • Process will continue to be guided by Officials Committee and National Agency for PPPs 
  • Cabinet to be presented Nyras plan after approval from new board 

The new Board of Directors, under the Chairmanship of Ranjit Fernando, appointed to SriLankan Airlines will work to accelerate the restructuring process and create the enabling environment to proceed with entering into a public-private-partnership (PPP) with a strategic investor, the national carrier said yesterday.  

Other board members appointed include Finance Ministry advisor Mano Tittewella, Central Bank official Dr. Roshan Perera, Air Force Commander Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathi  and lawyer Susantha Katugampala. 

The final restructuring plan prepared by UK consulting firm Nyras, with the assistance of the National Agency for PPPs (NAPPP), has already been presented to the Ministerial Committee and will be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval upon being endorsed by the new Board of Directors. 

“Nyras has presented a detailed business plan that demonstrates the SriLankan Airlines Group can become viable in the short to medium term through the restructuring strategy. 

This has similarities to the strategy adopted by Swiss Air and Aer Lingus, both advised by Nyras that resulted in turning these loss-making airlines into extremely profitable companies,” the statement added.  

The NAPPP, with the assistance of Nyras, will coordinate the PPP process that will be implemented in parallel with the restructuring process and advise the Ministry of Finance and Officials Committee. The NAPPP will also advise the Officials Committee on the debt restructuring process designed to mitigate any impact on the General Treasury and State Banks, who are the largest lenders to SriLankan Airlines. 

New Chairman Fernando was chosen to head the Board based on his experience in transforming the then State-owned National Development Bank where he served from its inception in 1979 until his retirement in 2001. 

After retirement, Fernando has functioned as Secretary of the Ministry of Industries and Chairman of several publicly-listed companies and the UDA. He is an Attorney-at-Law possessing a Bachelor of Law (Hons.) degree and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK), Chartered Institute of Bankers (UK) and a Companion of the Chartered Institute of Management (UK).

The restructuring and PPP process will continue to be guided by the Officials Committee chaired by the Secretary to the Treasury with the participation of the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development and Chairman of the National Agency for Public Private Partnership (NAPPP), Thilan Wijesinghe. 

Wijesinghe serves as the Convener of the Officials Committee. The Officials Committee, set up in September 2017, will continue to refer required areas for direction by the Ministerial Committee chaired by the Prime Minister and for implementation by the Board of SriLankan Airlines. Aviation Consultants, Nyras of the UK, hired after a competitive process in November 2017 by the Officials Committee, will continue to report to the Officials Committee. This working arrangement is to ensure shareholder (Treasury) interests are adequately addressed in the restructuring process.