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AASL launches ground handling training wing amidst making profits

By: Staff Writer Colombo (LNW):The Airport and Aviation services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited (AASL) marked another historical milestone by launching its own Ground Handling Services Training Wing at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) with the aim of providing ground handling services for international flight operations. The AASL ground handling service at MRIA was launched by providing its ground handling services to domestic airlines with incoming passengers. The ground handling staff successfully handled the ground operations according to international standards meeting all regulatory requirements and provided all the services as required. This new ground handling team comprises employees who possess relevant ground handling experience and the team has been given the necessary skill and other mandatory training to achieve the highest level of performance while handling aircraft on the ground. By launching the service, the AASL will be able to contribute to increase the aeronautical revenue component of AASL and this is a timely move in this challenging and changing business environment. Currently, AASL provides ground handling services at Colombo International Airport, Ratmalana (CIAR) and Jaffna International Airport (JIA) for domestic and international airlines. With this move, AASL will be able to provide ground handling services at Mattala in the future and the service will be extended to the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) for international operations too. As the statutory service provider of the Government, AASL develops the airport infrastructure utilizing its own funds and Government backed foreign loans and grants. AASL has deployed an asset base over Rs. 165 billion and a workforce of 3,900 employees, finance ministry sources revealed. AASL’s revenue tripled from pandemic levels in 2020 and 2021 of Rs. 11.7 billion and Rs. 11.1billion, respectively, to Rs. 33.8 billion in 2022, exceeding the pre-pandemic level of Rs. 29.9 billion in 2019 by approximately 14 percent. Although the revenue from aeronautical services increased by 14 percent from Rs.5.4 billion in 2019 to Rs. 6.2 billion in 2022,the revenue from non-aeronautical services decreased by 2 percent, from Rs. 20.2 billion in 2019 prior to the pandemic level to Rs. 19.8 billion in 2022. The increase in financial expenses from Rs. 0.5 billion in 2021 to Rs. 12.4 billion in 2022 is the primary reason for the 129 percent expenditure growth from Rs. 11.9 billion in 2021 to Rs. 27.3billion in 2022. However, AASL was able to record Rs. 6.4 billion profits before tax in 2022, positioning itself as a profitable entity after two years as a loss-making entity.

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