SriLankan Airlines’ profits double

Hill … expansive

SRILANKAN Airlines has reported a near doubling of profits for the year 2003/2004, mainly due to its dynamic expansion on Indian routes.

The airline and its catering services subsidiary posted a net profit after tax of Rs4,555.14 million ($44 million), an increase of 94.97 per cent over the previous financial year.
The announcement follows a recent statement that the airline is looking to add to its network of airline partners as well as growing through organic expansion. 
Total operating revenue rose 24.6 per cent, while passenger numbers increased by 14.3 per cent to 2.06 million. Dubai-based Emirates airline manages SriLankan Airlines and has a 40 per cent stake in it.
Meanwhile, the airline fleet expanded to 17 with the acquisition of two A340s, two A320s, another Antonov AN12F freighter and a Cessna Caravan floatplane. According to CEO Peter Hill, while the airline had achieved many of its goals during the past year, there was more to come in 2004/5 to meet a projected 28 per cent revenue growth. He said: “The addition of China to our network will be a landmark, while we will continue expansion in to India with the launch of our eleventh destination, Ahmedabad. The successful launch of our domestic air taxi service will be followed up with more destinations and the acquisition of two more amphibious aircraft, while we will also add to our Airbus fleet in the coming year.” On the ground, Hill said the final touches were being made to a new Business Class lounge at Colombo airport, scheduled to open by year end, while a new $25 million flight kitchen will be launched in September 2005.