As soon as the new SriLankan government took the oath of office under Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, it was widely expected that the merged MihinLanka, the low-cost carrier (LCC) of SriLanka with SriLankan airlines will take a new avatar and that is becoming true albeit with a proposed private operation.
FLY LANKAN is the new carrier from SriLanka.
As expected, the ministry of civil aviation of SriLanka has announced that the office of the Director of civil aviation has received an application from ‘Fly Lankan Asia (P) Ltd for ‘Air operator license and Airline licence to engage in Domestic Regular Operations carrying Passengers and Mail and International Regular Operation carrying Passengers, Cargo and Mail in compliance with Civil Aviation Act and Regulation made thereunder.
The ministry of civil aviation in its publication (https://www.caa.lk/en/public-notices-en/fly-lankan-asia-pvt-ltd) which is available for download in 3 languages viz., English, Sinhalese & Tamil, communicates the receipt of an application by the Ministry.
The formal announcement of approval can be expected soon.
There is both opportunity & threat for SriLankan Civil Aviation
MihinLanka was a low-cost carrier when Rajapakse was the President of SriLanka and was operating out of Matala which is an Airport within the small island nation. However, when Maithiripala Srisena took over as President of SriLanka, MihinLanka was merged with SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of SriLanka.
At that point of time, the nation was facing competition from other external operators like SpiceJet, Indigo and alliance air from the Indian destinations point of view. Indian Market accounts for a major revenue for SriLankan airlines due to its proximity and considering the size of the fleet of MihinLanka which had only A320 series of aircraft. There were competition from other international airlines as well considering Colombo’s Bandaranaike International airport being the sole destination for Air traffic to the Island nation.
It was widely believed that the Rajapakse government will implement a low-cost carrier (LCC) as soon as it returns to power. With this application with the ministry, a new avatar of the closed entity of MihinLanka is expected soon. However, there are rumours that unlike MihinLanka which was part of the Government-owned entity, FlyLankan is expected to be a private firm.
Now, here’s an interesting point of view – SriLankan Airlines is an all-Airbus fleet. Let us wait and see whether Boeing will be able to open their account with this new upcoming airline! What are your thoughts on the situation on Sri Lankan aviation? Let us know in the comments!