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SriLankan and FitsAir in leasing arrangement

The State-owned carrier SriLankan Airlines’ current fleet of 16 aircraft includes those leased out by its purported competitor FitsAir.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ashok Pathirage revealed that FitsAir had been leasing out several of its aircraft to SriLankan Airlines for some time despite the much-heralded narrative that FitsAir would compete with the National Carrier for dominance in the local aviation industry.

Responding to a question on the motives of FitsAir in leasing out aircraft to a competitor, he said: “I don’t know whether FitsAir has enough business. It must not be having much; otherwise why would it be leasing out to us?”

Despite numerous attempts by The Sunday Morning Business to obtain a comment from FitsAir, the airline has failed to respond to date.

FitsAir is part of Sri Lanka’s privately-owned Aberdeen Holdings and was formerly known as ExpoAir, which operated domestic and international cargo flights for over 25 years. FitsAir commenced international passenger operations in October 2022 and the new budget airline was heralded as a possible challenger to the local aviation monopoly enjoyed by SriLankan Airlines.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business in the immediate aftermath of the launch of FitsAir’s international passenger operations in October 2022, Pathirage stated that he did not think FitsAir would be a big competitor to SriLankan Airlines, adding that he would wait to observe the competitor’s schedule and operations to provide a comment on any potential threat to SriLankan.

The Morning

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