SriLankan Airlines says reports of million-dollar losses are ‘misleading’

SriLankan Airlines
Vytautas Kielaitis /

The national flag carrier, SriLankan Airlines, has said that reports of million-dollar losses are misleading and the company actually made a profit of $3 million.  

On May 13, 2023, it was reported that the airline had announced $525 million losses. 

In a statement from the carrier, it said the figure quoted in some parts of the media referred to the financial situation on March 3, 2022. 

The airline said the losses include a foreign exchange loss from the “net foreign currency liabilities due to the depreciation of the rupee exchange rate in March 2022”. 

According to the airline it made an “operating profit” before the exchange losses which was “significant achievement” considering the impact of the COVID pandemic.  

SriLankan Airlines said it announced its unaudited dollar financial statement for the year ending March 2023 at a recent meeting in parliament.  

“During the recent completed financial year, the airline generated passenger and cargo revenue of $994 million and an operating profit of $53 million. The operating profit at the group level was $104 million” a statement from the airline read. “The group however incurred financial costs of $104 million, resulting in a profit of $3 million.”  

SriLankan Airlines said this is the first time in over a decade the carrier has broken even.  

The SriLankan Airlines chairman recently said the airline had received no funding in the last two years and continues to operate using its own cashflows. 

“The airline maintains operating margins in line with the best industry standards. We are optimistic that these will be stronger in the year ahead as the country moves forward from the challenges of 2022. As discussed, the biggest challenge yet is the country’s situation and extremely high financing costs,” the statement concluded. 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $3 billion dollar for the South Asian island in March 2023 and recommended restructuring 51 loss-making state enterprises, including SriLankan Airlines.  

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