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07 December 2023

SriLankan seeks Emirates deal renewal

By Agencies

SriLankan Airlines Group posted a post-tax annual profit of $7.8 million in March 31, 2007, a drop of 50 per cent from 2006 (SUPPLIED)

(November 27, 2007) - SriLankan Airlines wants a new management contract to be signed soon with Dubai-owned Emirates, chief executive Peter Hill said Tuesday, forecasting a "tough" year for the island's carrier.

The Colombo government is holding another meeting on January 8 with Emirates to discuss the renewal of the 10-year management contract of SriLankan Airlines that runs out next March, an airline official said.

"The negotiations between the government and Emirates have been going on for 18 months. I would have liked to have seen them resolved by now," Hill told reporters in New Delhi.

The Sri Lankan national carrier, in which Emirates holds a 43.6 per cent stake, needs a decision to push ahead with its business plans that include expanding its fleet to 30 aircraft by 2013 from the current 14, he said.

Hill was in the Indian capital to announce that SriLankan Airlines had become the first foreign carrier to operate 100 flights a week to India and hoped to boost that number to 150 in five years.

SriLankan Airlines entered into the strategic partnership with Emirates in 1998 in which the Colombo government retained a majority stake, but gave full power to Emirates to run the airline. (AFP)