India stood with Sir Lankan Airlines amid jet fuel crisis: CEO Richard Nuttall

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NEW DELHI: India is very important to Srilankan Airlines, the CEO of the aircraft company Richard Nuttall said, adding that New Delhi helped the country’s airlines running amid challenges brought on by the economic crisis.

In an interview with ANI, Nuttall said, “Things like wellness and ayurveda and adventure tourism are on the growth worldwide and Sri Lanka provides them in spades so the tourism will come back. But the third leg that we are very strong in is all of the secondary cities in India particularly going east so if you want to go from those cities going west you have got all the gulf carriers and you have got a lot of competition some of it is frankly a different economic model.”

“But going east we are uniquely positioned we are right at the tur of India. And for many of those going east, there is no airline that is more geographically placed to take advantage. Sri Lankans understand service & there’s a real hospitality that works very well in Indian markets. India is a source of tourists for Sri Lanka. India is important to the airline.” he added.

Nuttall thanked India for all the support, saying that New Delhi had provided the fuel and the civil aviation authorities, too, helped the countries.

The airlines stated that while Covid had impacted Sri Lanka’s economy, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict had led to a hike in prices of aviation turbine fuel (ATF).

“It was basically a one-off July and august Sri Lanka basically ran out of fuel. So I don’t know that a national airline has to operate without any jet fuel.

So we are very lucky that the civil aviation industry was actually aware of what was going on in the country. So they gradually reduced everybody’s quota. So we had to do deck stops in India initially we had to get approvals from the Indian authorities although afterwards, we got these approvals faster as everyone know what was going on everyone was very helpful and supportive we got support from the airport and oil companies,” he said.

“And we basically ran the entire network for two months with deck stops from India and ran basically a full schedule. so basically many thanks for all the support that we got from India from airport from fuel companies and civil aviation authorities,” Sri Lankan airlines CEO added. (ANI)

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