The airline, seeking to modernise its fleet to cut fuel costs, will opt for Rolls-Royce engines and use a lease-back arrangement to conserve cash, chief executive Officer Kapila Chandrasena said in an interview.
"The total cost altogether is going to be around $1.3bn.
But deliveries are progressively from 2014 to 2023 on a staggered basis," he
The carrier signed a memorandum of understanding on the purchase with Airbus last Friday, he
Sri Lankan Airlines now operates with a 22-aircraft fleet including seven A320-200s, seven A330-300s, six A340-300s and two Twin Otters.
said the national carrier needs to replace all six A340-300s with A330-300 aircraft and all seven A330-300s with A350-900s.
said the airlines considered offers by both Airbus
"We looked at who is giving more value for us.
In that discussion, it was apparent that the Airbus
offer of A330-300s in the interim and long-term A350-900 is much more favourable than the Boeing
did not have interim aircraft.
They were only interested in the long-term offer, which was the 787."
Sri Lankan Airlines estimates that it incurred a loss of $134.8mn in the 2012/13 financial year to March 31, similar to the previous year, and is finding it difficult to finance new aircraft purchases.
"We don't have cash," Chandrasena
"So what we are doing is a sale and lease."
said the airline would work with either a financial institution or a leasing firm that would buy the aircraft and lease them back to the carrier.
said the national carrier would be looking at a lease period of 10 to 15 years, with a shorter period for the A330-300s and a longer period for the A350-900s.
"We are talking to various (leasing companies) right now about the sale and lease-back on the six 330-300s," he