Mihin Lanka to switch to an all Boeing fleet

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Mihin Lanka has inked an agreement with Air Lease Corporation for two Boeing 737-800 aircraft, as it turns away from being an Airbus operator.

Speaking to reporters last week, SriLankan Airlines chief executive Kapila Chandrasena says the narrowbodies are expected to be delivered in mid 2015, and that the plan is to “evolve” Mihin Lanka’s fleet into an all Boeing one.

“That’s the policy decision we have taken,” he says. “Like any other carrier we want a balanced strategy. So the decision is to have SriLankan use an exclusively Airbus fleet, and make Mihin a Boeing fleet. Looking at the dynamics of that market, Boeing was a better suited aircraft given the capacity and the efficiency of the operations.”

Asked whether it makes economic sense for the two carriers to have a split fleet, especially since Mihin Lanka only operates three aircraft, Chandrasena would only say the decision gave the carrier "a positioning with the two manufacturers”.

Mihin Lanka is the low-cost affiliate of state-owned SriLankan Airlines.

Chandrasena, who used to be the chief executive of both carriers, says Mihin Lanka has also appointed a new chief executive in March. Nishantha Ranatunga, formerly in the private sector, has stepped in as chairman and chief executive of Mihin Lanka.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows that Mihin Lanka has three aircraft – two Airbus A321s and an A320 in its fleet. SriLankan meanwhile has 22 aircraft - eight A320s, one A321, seven A330s and six A340s, and a further 13 comprising of six A330s and seven A350s, on order.