The national carrier of Sri Lanka lost $124 million in the last fiscal year ending March 2021, just a few days before the country officially defaulted on its foreign debt.
“These losses should not be left on the shoulders of the poorest people who never got on a plane, — Wickremesinghe said.
The new premier, who has been in office for less than a week, said he was forced to print money to pay wages, which would negatively affect the national currency. The country only has one day's worth of gasoline, Wickremesinghe said, and the government is working to raise dollars on the open market to pay for three crude oil and heating oil ships anchored in Sri Lankan waters.
“The next couple of months will be the most difficult of our lives. We must immediately create a national unified body with the participation of all political parties to find a solution to the current crisis.
In 2010, the Colombo government bought a stake in SriLankan Airlines from Emirates Dubai. The national carrier, which has a fleet of 25 Airbus aircraft, flies to cities in Europe, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia, according to FlightRadar24.