President’s Office paid Rs. 25 mn to airline for VVIP charter flight to Russia in 2011

The President’s Office had paid Rs. 25 million to SriLankan Airlines for a charter flight used by 32 VVIPs to travel to Russia in 2011, SriLankan Airlines Revenue and Audit Senior Manager Upeka Awanthi Abeysinghe told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on SriLankan Airlines yesterday.

“This A340 aircraft has seating facilities for 280 passengers. The flight had left for St. Petersburg airport from the Banadaranaike International Airport on June 16, 2011, about four months prior to SriLankan Airlines launching its direct flights to Russia in October,” she said.

Abeysinghe said the said flight had returned to Katunayake on June 18.

“The airline had to bear a cost of Rs.17.2 million for this journey,” she added. According to her, the airline could have earned a good income if this flight was operated according to a schedule. She also added that she was not aware as why this group left for Russia by charter flight.

Answering State Counsel Chathura Gunatilake who led evidence, the witness also revealed that the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow had been paid Rs. 20 million for the commencement of the direct flights to Russia.

Share on Google Plus

About Lankaimage lanka

This is a short description in the author block about the author. You edit it by entering text in the "Biographical Info" field in the user admin panel.