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SriLankan Airlines to welcome 5 second-hand A320 aircraft

SriLankan Airlines to welcome 5 second-hand A320 aircraft

26 Nov 2023 | – By Shenal Fernando

  • Chairman unveils scheduled arrival from Dec. onwards
  • Securing 5 A320s, 2 A330s in the pipeline

SriLankan Airlines is set to begin taking delivery of its five newly-leased second-hand A320 family aircraft from December onwards.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ashok Pathirage revealed that they had been looking to lease five second-hand A320 family aircraft and the same number of A330s and that SriLankan Airlines had successfully entered into leases for the five A320s.

“The 320s will be delivered soon. They will arrive from December onwards; we will not be receiving them all at the same time. These are second-hand aircraft,” he said.

He further revealed that SriLankan Airlines was close to finalising agreements in relation to two A330s and was continuing to look for three more A330s. 

Likely due to increased demand for A330s globally, SriLankan is struggling to secure a suitable lessor offering A330s to meet its needs.

Initially, SriLankan Airlines announced in early 2022 that it had issued four Requests for Proposal (RFPs) to lease up to 21 aircraft to support its long-term business strategy. However, this decision was heavily criticised by the public considering the economic crisis faced by the country. 

Thereafter, in December 2022 the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval for SriLankan Airlines to lease 10 aircraft. Subsequently, RFPs were called in December 2022 for five second-hand A320s and five second-hand A330s. 

According to Pathirage, due to the failure to reach an agreement following the RFP process in early 2023, SriLankan Airlines had called for RFPs from aircraft lessors over several further rounds before reaching the current agreements.

SriLankan Airlines currently has an all-Airbus fleet consisting of 12 A330 aircraft (long-haul) and 12 A320/A321 aircraft (medium-haul). However, only around 21 of the aircraft are currently operational while the remaining three are grounded as the airline awaits the required components from the manufacturer.

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