Sri Lanka plans to privatise national airline to help pay off debt

17 May 2022, 1:09 pm
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Sri Lanka’s newly-appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has proposed to privatise the national carrier SriLankan Airlines as part of his plan to help tackle the debt-ridden country’s crippling economic and political crisis.

Sri Lanka is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948. “I propose that the loss-making Sri Lankan Airlines be privatised,” Wickremesinghe said in his first address to the nation.

SriLankan Airlines made large losses after former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa removed Emirates as its managing shareholder, the Economy Next website reported.

“In the 20/21 year alone its loss was 45 billion rupees. By 2021 March 31, its total losses were 372 billion rupees,” the prime minister said while announcing other measures to tackle the problems faced by Sri Lanka’s economy.