SriLankan Airlines Sets Ambitious Course for Fleet Restructuring and Expansion

In a bold move aimed at revamping its operations, SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, has initiated the process of restructuring its fleet. With retirements and lease expirations on the horizon, the airline is set to bid farewell to nearly a quarter of its current fleet, including three Airbus A320-200 models. As part of this transformative phase, SriLankan Airlines is not only seeking replacements for these aircraft but also aiming to expand its fleet.

Headquartered at Bandaranaike International Airport, SriLankan Airlines currently operates a fleet comprised entirely of Airbus aircraft, with a total of 23 planes. Planespotters.net data reveals that the fleet consists of A320 and A330 family aircraft. The breakdown includes five A320-200 narrowbody planes, two A320-200neo narrowbody planes, one A321-200 narrowbody plane, four A321-200neo narrowbody planes, four A330-200 widebody planes, and seven A330-300 widebody planes.

Taking proactive measures, SriLankan Airlines recently issued its third Request for Proposals (RFP) within six months. The previous two RFPs sought proposals for the leasing of five narrowbody aircraft and five widebody aircraft respectively. The latest RFP, designated as ENG/ALC/RFP/23/028, calls for proposals for a six-year dry lease of either an A320-200 or A321-200 narrowbody Airbus. The airline has set a deadline of June 12th, 2023, at 14:00 local time for potential lessors to submit their bids.

Moreover, SriLankan Airlines is open to proposals from its existing lessors to extend the lease periods of its current aircraft. However, the airline has outlined certain requirements and conditions for potential lessors to meet. The desired aircraft must be used but not older than 15 years at the time of delivery, which is provisionally scheduled for December 2023. SriLankan Airlines has chosen to exclude the New Engine Option (neo) models and intends to lease Current Engine Option (ceo) versions of either model. The airline does not have a specific preference regarding the engine type and will consider aircraft equipped with either CFM International CFM56-5B or International Aero Engines V2500 powerplants.

The RFP specifies that the aircraft must have recently undergone C-checks in order to be considered. SriLankan Airlines is seeking an aircraft that will not require major scheduled maintenance for approximately three years or 12,000 flight hours and 8,000 flight cycles. This requirement is typical when leasing an aircraft, as airlines aim to minimize costs associated with wear and tear from previous lessors.

SriLankan Airlines has also provided potential lessors with projected usage figures for the lease period:

- A320-200:
   - 3,850 hours and 1,600 flight cycles per year
   - Estimated 23,100 hours and 9,600 cycles at the end of the lease
   - Approximately 46% of its useful lifespan

- A321-200:
   - 4,250 flight hours and 1,500 flight cycles per year
   - Estimated 25,500 hours and 9,000 cycles at the end of the lease
   - Approximately 42% of its useful lifespan

With an ambitious vision to recapture its former glory, SriLankan Airlines has embraced an aggressive strategy. The airline plans to introduce lucrative new routes to India and China while significantly increasing flight frequencies across its entire network. By restructuring its fleet and expanding its operations, SriLankan Airlines aims to soar to new heights and position itself as a

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