SriLankan Airlines’ revenues had grown 16.3 percent to 78.9 billion rupees in 2011, but operating expenses had risen 32.2 percent to 98 billion rupees, the Central Bank’s annual report said.
Sri Lankan Airlines has made large losses ever since a management contract with Dubai-based Emirates Airlines ended over a dispute triggered involving offloading paying passengers to accommodate an official delegation in 2008.
SriLankan group last made profits of 4,889 rupees in 2008. In 2009, the airline lost 9,996.5 million rupees and in 2010 it lost 6,034.2 million rupees.
The group losses came despite it having lucrative ground handling and catering monopolies at Sri Lanka’s main international airport.
Mihin Lanka, a state budget airline that is now jointly managed with SriLankan which has made losses since its inception, had made an operating loss of 455 million rupees, down from an operating loss of 788 million a year earlier.
The current administration has committed to injecting 100 million dollars a year in tax-payer money for five years to boost the balance sheet of the bank.
By the end of the 2010 financial year, the group had only 6.8 billion rupees in net assets.
Workers had climbed to 5,487 in 2011 from 4,969 in 2009. In 2009 there were only 4,664 workers.
The central bank said the passenger load factor (the number of passengers actually carried versus available seats) was maintained at 78 percent with 10,677 million passenger kilometers flown up from 9,400 a year earlier.
The cargo factor was also 55 percent in both years with 90,000 metric tonnes of freight carried up from 83,000 a year earlier.
The airline is known to be losing money heavily on long-haul European routes amid heavy competition.
A recent attempt to trim European flights by its management was however reversed