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70 pilots leave SriLankan during last six months – Sajith

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13 flights cancelled in five days – Dayasiri

By Saman Indrajith

About 70 pilots attached to SriLankan Airlines had resigned during the past six months, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said yesterday in Parliament.

“There are fewer than 260 pilots at SriLankan now. Another 18 are to join Emirates soon,” he said.SriLankan needs 330 pilots to operate its flights optimally, Premadasa said.Meanwhile, from 18 to 22 June, SriLankan Airlines have cancelled 13 flights, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) MP Dayasiri Jayasekera said in Parliament on Friday.The passengers of these flights had to be accommodated in star class hotels, he said.

“We don’t know how much money was spent to pay for the accommodation. But it’s obvious that dozens of million rupees must have been spent”.

The flights of Sri Lankan Airlines are delayed because of a union action taken by pilots and engineers and not because of sudden illnesses of pilots as stated by the government, he said.They have resorted to union action because the government had not paid them an allowance that was due during the COVID period, the SLFP MP went on to say.

“The government wants to sell SriLankan Airlines. So they are deliberately running it to the ground. Buses that carry air passengers are not allowed to enter the airport premises. People are compelled to walk a long distance, dragging their luggage,” he said.


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