Terror attack deprived 500,000 tourists from Sri-Lanka | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

20 May, Monday


Terror attack deprived 500,000 tourists from Sri-Lanka

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One week after the attacks in Sri Lanka, executives from the country’s Tourism Development Authority and national airline attended the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

Vipula Gunatilleka, the CEO of Sri Lankan Airlines, told Euronews that whilst the national air force had taken charge of ground security, the state-owned carrier was looking to bring air marshals on board some flights.

Despite increased security measures, a drop in visitor numbers to the island nation following the attacks would be inevitable, the airline chief added.

“Business, if you look at it in terms of the passenger numbers and the forward bookings, we have seen about a 10 percent decline,” said Gunatilleka. “Of course, we see cancellations coming from the European destinations, but our other markets like India and the Middle East have been holding on.”

The CEO added that despite the current situation, day-to-day operations at the company couldn’t be ignored, emphasizing that the strategy to turn the loss-making airline into a profitable one was still in place.

“In the turnaround plan that we submitted to the government, we were expecting to reach a breakeven situation in three years time,” he said. “They have been looking for a private investor, but that will get delayed I believe, with the current situation. The biggest problem is that 45 percent of our losses are due to interest financing costs.”

Sri Lanka witnessed tourist numbers to drop by 500,000.

Euronews

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