SriLankan Airlines said yesterday it has achieved a record un-audited annual passenger revenue of Rs. 126.9 billion ($830.7 million) for its just-ended financial year of 2017/18 – the highest ever in the Company’s 38-year history.
The revenue comes on the back of the recent expansion of the airline to include services to several new destinations, such as Gan Islands, Hyderabad and Melbourne, and additional frequencies to popular cities in its network.
The airline’s cargo division recorded a spectacular performance – achieving a revenue of Rs. 14.7 billion on its own. Both passenger and cargo divisions exceeded their annual target, enabling the SriLankan Airlines Group – bolstered by an even stronger performance at its best performing business unit SriLankan Ground Services – to comfortably exceed the overall annual revenue target.
The overall Group turnover exceeded $1 billion, making SriLankan one of the handful of companies in Sri Lanka to reach this milestone. It also becomes the highest revenue-generating company amongst all Sri Lankan businesses which publicly report their financials.
Commenting on the achievement, SriLankan Airlines Chief Executive Officer Captain Suren Ratwatte said: “This is the first instance of the airline achieving its annual revenue target since Emirates Airline left as the managing partner ten years ago. This comes at a turbulent time for the industry, when most airlines are facing difficulty maintaining their yields due to intense competition. SriLankan has just completed a year of significant expansion, with minimal erosion on yields, and ended the year comfortably exceeding the revenue target. This achievement shows the capability and commitment of our workforce and demonstrates that the Company is well on track with its restructuring targets. With a new Chairman and Board of Directors in place, I am certain that the airline will reach greater heights in the near future as we concentrate on curtailing our costs.”
The airline’s Chief Commercial Officer Siva Ramachandran added: “This is a proud moment for all of us at SriLankan, and serves as a testament that a home-grown team is capable of turning around the airline from one that is deeply loss-making to self-sufficient. The next generation at SriLankan has come to the fore. The future of this Company is in the good hands of young people who are capable of taking it forward.”
The year has been one of transformation for SriLankan, in which it inducted four brand new fuel-efficient narrow-bodied aircraft to the fleet – in the process becoming the first A321neo aircraft operator in Asia. It has also made significant improvements to on-board service, including offering flat-bed Business Class seats on all wide-bodied aircraft and Wi-Fi services on nearly half of its fleet.
The airline is currently at the verge of implementing the second phase of its restructuring plan, which would see the airline become a profitable and self-sufficient entity within a short period. The restructuring initiatives would see the airline further fine-tune its route network and implement a range of cost-optimisation initiatives. It intends to report its audited financial results for FY2017/18, which are required to undergo review by the Auditor General of Sri Lanka, before the end of September 2018.
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