The government of Sri Lanka has officially launched the bidding process for the divestiture of the debt-ridden national carrier, SriLankan Airlines. Minister of Ports, Shipping & Aviation, Nimal Siripala De Silva, announced that Invitations to Tenders (ITTs) have been published through local and foreign media as well as websites.
This divestiture is expected to follow a two-stage competitive bidding process, involving the Request for Qualification (RFQ) and the Request for Proposals for the Proposed Transaction (RFP). Minister De Silva clarified the government’s intent to retain a 51% stake in SriLankan Airlines while divesting the remaining 49%.
Addressing previous reports suggesting a complete sale of the national carrier by the end of 2024, Minister De Silva denied such claims during an appearance on Ada Derana’s “State of the Nation” program. He emphasized that establishing a joint venture is the strategy to address SriLankan Airlines’ debt, which currently amounts to USD 1.2 billion.
Founded in 1979, SriLankan Airlines operated with a fleet of 24 Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft, serving a route network spanning 126 destinations in 61 countries.