The most-recent crisis at SriLankan Airlines, which erupted with
some 18 pilots attached to the national carrier going on a sick
note campaign on Friday and crippling several flights as a
result, appears to have been sorted out.
“We were officially informed that the problem has been solved,
and UL 105, 225, 192, 106 and 226, which were cancelled, have
been rescheduled,” said Ruwini Jayasinghe, Communications
Manager at SriLankan.
Flights to Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Male and Dubai, which were
cancelled, have also been rescheduled.
“Ever since the government took over SriLankan, there has been a
lot of intervention by politicians and many pilots are not
happy. Although many have nothing against the government taking
over the management, the pilots are disappointed about the
non-fulfillment of several promises that they had been given by
President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Aviation Services Minister
Chamal Rajapaksa,” an airline source said.
Despite several flights – including those to Delhi, Dubai,
Chennai and Bangalore – being cancelled on Friday, SriLankan
officials claimed the passengers were given the choice of
switching to other airlines.
“There was a slight problem on Friday but many were able to
switch to other airlines,” said Jayasinghe, asserting that
normalcy was restored by Saturday.
However, other sources revealed that with the cancellation of
several flights on Friday, no procedure had been adopted to
re-route the passengers to other airlines. Many passengers were
left stranded at the airport on Friday while a lucky few
travelling in business class were able to switch to other
Airline sources also said that the sick note action, which
virtually crippled the national carrier, was more a warning to
the government to show what the pilots could actually do if the
authorities failed to keep their original promises.
Aviation Minister Rajapaksa was not available for comment.