to be appointed SriLankan COO
Gunawardena is tipped to be appointed as the Chief Operating
Officer (COO) of SriLankan Airlines, contrary to initial
speculations that he was to take over as the Chief Executive
Meanwhile, at a specially convened meeting yesterday, the
SriLankan Board of Management addressing the national carrier’s
senior staff disclosed the airline’s future structure.
It is also believed that under the new structure, the COO will
enjoy more powers, similar to those enjoyed by the CEO.
Although no indication was given at yesterday’s meeting as to
who the airline’s new COO will be, the industry was abuzz over
Gunawardena being appointed to fill the slot of COO.
Yesterday’s meeting was chaired by SriLankan Airlines Chairman
Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and included Board Members Sunil Wijesinghe,
Lalith de Silva and Nishantha Wickremasinghe.
Vipula Gunatilleka is also tipped to be the airline’s Chief
Group Financial Officer, while Manik Gunasekara is likely to be
appointed as Head of Commercial.
According to the new structure, in future, the airline’s
commercial operations, engineering, cargo, in flight, corporate
communications and ground handling will come under the purview
of the COO.
Meanwhile, highly placed sources told The Nation that
frustration was building up over the failure by the government
to keep to its initial pledges made to the airline’s pilots by
former Chairman Harry Jayawardena.
Although Jayawardena promised to take care of many grievances of
the pilots, his removal has led to the promises remaining
unfulfilled, sources said.
Pilots continue to complain about the waylaid pledges, which
included salary increases and better facilities.
It is learnt that in the recent past, most of the hotels the
pilots have been put up in are of unacceptable standards.
Meanwhile, clandestine moves are underway by a group to transfer
Senior Flight Operations Manager Captain Milinda Ratnayake, who
has some 11 years of experience, from Flight Operations to the
Service Delivery Separtment.
The group, consisting Pilots Guild President Sujith Jayasekara,
Renuka Senanyake and Namal Fernando, citing reasons for their
attempt, have claimed that they wanted Ratnayake out because he
was not carrying out his duties properly and the standards in
hotels and uniforms have deteriorated.
They have also expressed dissatisfaction with the way
instructors are being appointed.
However, incidentally, neither Jayasekara, Senanyake nor
Fernando are instructors.