SriLankan Airlines is facing a major crisis after 30 out of about 300 pilots have joined other airlines, making the national carrier`s task to operate its daily flights difficult.
SriLankan Airlines` Corporate Management head Chandana de Silva told The Sunday Times yesterday the national carrier found it difficult to run long hold flights given the shortage of pilots, but the pilot exodus had not affected flights to close destinations.
The crisis, which is likely to continue for a few more weeks, has forced Sri Lankan Airlines to cancel two London-bound flights on Thursday and Friday.
Mr. de Silva said they took steps to re-route the passengers of the two flights in other carriers. He said that the airlines was making all efforts to maintain the normal schedule despite the pilot shortage. He said that they are in the process of recruiting new pilots but added that it would take some time for the situation to return to normal.
Mr. de Silva said that it was not unusual for pilots to leave for other airlines seeking better prospects. The Sunday Times learns that pilots have been leaving at regular intervals with a few more due to leave in the next few months.
Among some of the senior pilots to leave was captain Ramesh Jayasinghe who left after citing reasons of harassment. Mr. Jayasinghe with 15 years of experience was an instructor as well.