A Net Profit Reported in December 2021 from Sri Lankan Airlines.
December 2021 is the first profitable month since the beginning of the Pandemic.
For December 2021 Sri Lankan Airlines reported a Company Profit of USD 9.25 million and a Group Profit of USD 10.66 million, which is the first profitable month for the Airline since the beginning of the Pandemic back in early 2020. The revenues are up by nearly 200% compared with the same time last year and have reached over 80% of the pre-pandemic level. Additionally, for December 2021 Sri Lankan Airlines reports a profit of USD 11.43 million at Air Transportation level, which is the highest recorded profit from Air Transportation in around 20 years.
Ashok Pathirage, Chairman of Sri Lankan Airlines stated, “The sacrifices made by all our staff members have paved the way for a positive start for the New Year. During the past two years, we implemented multifaceted initiatives to reduce operational costs, for which each and every employee of the Sri Lankan family contributed, and we are reaping the benefits of our efforts today. The future, however, remains extremely challenging with the spread of the new variant of the virus and we will continue to monitor the situation closely and take necessary action to ensure that the momentum achieved in December continues.”
There were around 800 flights that were operated during the month of December 2021 and carried a total of 228,203 passengers – more than 13 times the number of passengers carried back in December 2020. Furthermore, Sri Lankan Airlines lifted a total of 7,877 metric tons of cargo, which is a 147% increase from December 2020.
Over the past three years starting from the Easter Sunday attacks back in April 2019 Sri Lankan Airlines has been fraught with challenges that led to a drop in tourist arrivals in the immediate aftermath, closely followed by the beginning of the pandemic during the first quarter of 2020, which is now coming into its third year.
Sri Lankan Airlines as the national carrier, however, rose to the challenge, by deploying resources to fly stranded Sri Lankans home from several parts of the world, which included pilgrims from India and students stranded in many parts of the world including COVID-19 struck Wuhan in China. From then on, the Airline has not just engaged in ferrying Sri Lankans but also stepped up to help citizens of other countries come back home. They also adapted its strategy with a renewed focus on cargo operations which was a improvement for exports and air transportation of vital medical supplies, vaccinations, and other commercial cargo across borders as global passenger air travel came to a virtual halt. Therefore, the Airline was able to keep its fleet in operation while many other airlines grounded most of their aircrafts.
In spite of the difficulties of the pandemic, Sri Lankan Airlines has also kept its commitment to support the national economy by bringing in tourism, connecting businesses, carrying freight, and earning foreign exchange. Sri Lankan Airlines in the past year launched operations to many new destinations which included Seoul; Nairobi; Moscow; Paris; and Kathmandu as the pandemic showed signs of slowing and borders slowly reopened.
Through marketing initiatives the new destinations were promoted in the respective markets which included participating in international tourism trade fairs like IFTM Top Resa in Paris and OTDYKH LEISURE in Moscow. Sri Lankan Airlines also became the first airline to hold Familiarization Tours (FAM) for travel trade journalists based in Russia, France and India last year. In November 2021, the country’s tourist arrivals remarkable exceeded 44,000 as a result of these initiatives.
As these positive numbers bring in the New Year for Sri Lankan Airlines, they hope to continue the momentum by going forward with a renewed energy and focus.