SriLankan Airlines to lease up to 21 aircraft to expand fleet

SriLankan Airlines says it has issued four requests for proposal (RFPs) to lease up to 21 aircraft to support its long-term business strategy.

This includes two RFPs covering existing fleet types (320 and 330 family aircraft) and two parallel RFPs to compare with alternative aircraft types, it said on Thursday.

“Roughly 60 per cent of the planned aircraft will be for fleet replacement, and the remainder will be to support the airline’s expansion strategy and meet the growing demand for air travel between Sri Lanka and the world,” the airline said in a statement.

Sri Lanka’s national carrier said that prior to the pandemic, in 2019, SriLankan had an all-Airbus fleet of 27 wide and narrow-bodied aircraft to service its short and long-haul operations.

During Covid, there were no replacements for three aircraft that left the fleet. The airline currently has 24 aircraft to operate to 40 destinations in 25 countries.

“SriLankan is planning for measured growth in the next three years through frequency increases and the addition of new destinations as international travel is in a trajectory of recovery from the pandemic,” it said.

The statement said that the business plan of the airline necessitates a 35-aircraft-strong fleet by 2025. Additionally, it is critical to lease replacement aircraft when existing aircraft leases expire to sustain operations, it said.

Considering these factors, SriLankan plans to lease up to 21 aircraft from the forthcoming RFP process.  – ada derana

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