SriLankan new board to accelerate restructuring and PPP process

A new Board of Directors has been appointed at SriLankan Airlines in order to accelerate the restructuring process and create the enabling environment to proceed with entering into a Public-Private-Partnership with a strategic investor, the Ministry of Finance said.

The government yesterday appointed a new board chaired by Mr. Ranjit Fernando (former UDA chairman) and comprised of Mr. Mano Tittewella (Ministry of Finance), Dr. Roshan Perera (Central Bank), Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathi (Air Force Commander) and Mr. Susantha Katugampala (Lawyer/Barrister).

“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, Ministry of Public Enterprise Development and Chairman of the National Agency for Public Private Partnership (NAPPP), Mr. Thilan Wijesinghe.”

Mr. 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.

The Ministry of Finance and Mass Media stated that Aviation Consultants, Nyras of UK, who were 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.”

“The final restructuring plan prepared by Nyras with the assistance of 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.”

The ministry stated that 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 turning into extremely profitable companies, the statement said.

“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.