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SriLankan looks to lease-out "unsuitable" A330-200

SriLankan Airlines is exploring options to sub-lease an Airbus A330-200 that has been sitting idle at Colombo's Bandaranaike International airport for over three months.

The Oneworld carrier states that the aircraft, registered 4R-ALS (MSN 1008), was acquired in 2017 as a condition of a settlement with AerCap over its cancellation of an agreement to lease four new A350-900s, under a deal cut by the airline's previous management team.

It adds that the cabin configuration of the 2009-build aircraft "is unsuitable for the airline's present business model" and it was leased out to a European airline.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the A330 has 288 economy class and 42 business class seats, while SriLankan's other A330-200s have 251 economy class and 18 business class seats.

However, SriLankan says the European airline "violated the lease agreement by defaulting on the lease payments", and also failed to fulfill several of its lease return obligations.

While SriLankan did not name the sub-lessee, Fleets Analyzer indicates that the A330 was last operated by HiFly. Flight-tracking websites show that the aircraft ferried under its previous registration (CS-TFZ) from Brussels to Bandaranaike in early October 2018, where it has been parked ever since.

The airline is "exploring the possibility of sub-leasing this aircraft to a charter operator or to another airline", but in the meantime has removed one of its Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, which is being used on another A330.

"The management is attempting to optimise the usage and return on investment on this aircraft, as with any other asset of the airline. Management is also taking the necessary steps to recover the losses to the airline from the relevant parties," it adds.

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