Saturday 7 December 2019
 
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SriLankan forges ahead with business turnaround plan

DUBAI, 27 days ago

SriLankan Airlines said it has made significant progress in its efforts to become a sophisticated customer-centric airline intent on achieving financial success, by implementing a wide-ranging Turnaround Plan under the leadership of its new board of directors which was appointed in April. 
 
The flag carrier began implementing a wide range of initiatives to curtail losses and improve the customer experience, despite many challenges including the impact on tourist arrivals from the Easter Sunday attacks, volatile fuel prices and depreciation of the rupee, said a statement from SriLankan.
 
SriLankan will be expanding its presence in the important Australian market by commencing operations to Sydney next year and further strengthening its position as the largest foreign carrier in India with the launch of services to Ahmedabad. 
 
One of the first steps that was firmly implemented by the new board was the restructuring of the national carrier’s management team, with proven experts in the aviation industry being inducted into key positions including those of CEO, Chief Technical Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Commercial Officer, and Chief of Service Delivery. 
 
With the full support of the staff, the management team rolled out multiple initiatives, introducing budgetary controls for all cost lines, inculcating a cost-conscious culture and driving financial acumen across the organization. 
 
However, great care was taken to ensure that the cost optimizing did not adversely impact the product and services enjoyed by customers, said the Lankan carrier.
 
This has resulted in the financial performance for the six months ended September 30, 2019 showing an upward trend by reducing losses by more than 50%, with a loss of $19 million before interest and withholding tax against a loss of $39 million for the same period in the previous year. 
 
SriLankan also intends to stretch its wings in Southeast Asia with a new service to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam, while plans to return to Frankfurt, Paris and other earlier destinations continue to be under consideration, it stated.
 
A considerable effort is being made throughout the organization in order to provide the most pleasant and user-friendly experience in terms of both products and services, across all customer touchpoints. 
 
These enhancements, supported by latest cutting edge technology, will focus on complementing traditional SriLankan hospitality while blending the comforts of contemporary air travel. 
 
The national carrier said its onboard passenger experience is being greatly enhanced, including significant changes to the content and user-friendly aspects of the inflight entertainment system and revamping of the Business Class product and service besides improved ranges of meals and beverages; and plans to introduce more comfortable seating in the Business Class cabins of the narrow-body fleet including the NEO aircraft serving the Far East.
 
Enhancements are being effected to the internet booking engine to provide a more customer-friendly experience. 
 
With the introduction of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, the airline will be able to enhance its offering to the frequent flyer members through FlySmiLes and provide greater rewards for its loyal customers.
 
After interest and withholding tax, the half yearly group loss was trimmed to $76 million, from the previous year's figure of $86 million.
 
This was achieved despite an overall decline in group revenue of $43 million, 70% of which was due to a drop in passenger and cargo revenue. 
 
The reduction in ground handling and catering revenue also impacted the shortfall, as other airlines reduced their operations following the Easter Sunday attacks, said the statement from SriLankan. 
 
However, in the second half of the year, Group Revenue is projected to increase significantly with the enhancement in operations by SriLankan and customer airlines, it added.-TradeArabia News Service
 



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