What’s going on with SriLankan Airlines aircraft orders?

SriLankan Airlines has provided an update on its fleet sourcing strategy, with the carrier keen to lease new planes to replace expiring leases. A parliamentary committee has asked him to delay his plans for three months and hopes to reach a decision by October.

Sri Lanka will replace leased planes

After submitting a Request for Proposals (RFP) for various aircraft in April, SriLankan Airlines will continue with its fleet sourcing strategy. Its plans involve leasing up to 12 replacement aircraft by 2025 and adding nine leased aircraft for fleet expansion over the same period.

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The carrier has been advised by a Sri Lankan parliamentary committee, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), to delay plans to lease 21 aircraft for three months to allow its plans to undergo further scrutiny. thorough.

With several aircraft leases set to expire, SriLankan Airlines is mainly replacing its fleet, although it is also eager to continue expanding its fleet.

Sri Lanka needs to replace 12 aircraft and wants to add nine more to expand its fleet. Photo: Getty Images

Sri Lankan Airlines said,

“About 60% of the planned aircraft will be fleet replacements, and the rest will be used to support the airline’s expansion strategy and meet the growing demand for air travel between Sri Lanka and the world.”

During the pandemic, three of SriLankan Airlines’ aircraft leases have expired and nine more agreements will expire by 2025. The carrier has clarified that the cost of the new lease agreements will be funded by the company’s foreign cash flow. .

The airline added,

“Ideally, the procurement process should move to decision-making level by October 2022. Failure to do so could result in the cancellation of several routes from March 2023 and contraction in revenue.”

Still thinking about options

Chairman Ashok Pathirage recently claimed that his tender, which involved up to 42 planes, was exploratory in nature and that the airline is still exploring its options.

The tenders, published in early April, are divided into four separate calls:

  • Up to 11 A320-200, A320-200N, A321-200 or A321-200N.
  • 10 A330s, either A330-200s or A330-300s.
  • Up to 11 A220-100, A220-300, E190-E2 or E195-E2.
  • Ten A330-800, A330-900, A350-900, B787-9 or B787-10.

The carrier will assess the market before making a firm decision. It will focus on used aircraft and models with greater fuel efficiency and cheaper maintenance.

Pathage added,

“It all depends on price and supply. [The deliveries are] until 2025. We don’t take it all at once. And these aren’t new, they’re used, used. This whole exercise is about understanding what’s out there and the prices.”

Expansion could still go ahead

SriLankan Airlines hopes to be able to further expand its fleet in the coming years with the addition of nine more aircraft.

Sri Lanka’s fleet strategy met with a mixed reaction in Sri Lanka. Photo: Getty Images

The carrier said,

“Management is also studying market conditions for nine other aircraft over the period to 2025, in line with international tourism and travel forecasts published by reputable international organizations such as IATA (International Air Transport Association) .”

The next few years could see SriLankan Airlines turn things around after the carrier posted its first profitable quarter in six years in March. However, his hire strategy has caused consternation among MPs amid unprecedented economic hardship across Sri Lanka.

What do you think of SriLankan Airlines’ fleet strategy? Let us know in the comments.


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