Home » Mattala Airport incur heavy losses over Rs. 42 billion in 5 years

Mattala Airport incur heavy losses over Rs. 42 billion in 5 years

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By: Staff Writer Colombo (LNW): As per a report of the National Audit Office (NAO), the total losses incurred by the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) between 2017 – 2022 amounted to Rs. 42.81 billion. Accordingly, the report indicated that the airport’s operating costs for the year 2022 amounted to Rs. 2.03 billion, which is, in fact, 26 times higher than its income. The airport had meanwhile incurred a loss to the tune of Rs. 22.21 billion last year. Furthermore, while a rough estimate of one million passengers were expected at the MRIA annually, the NAO report revealed that only a total of 11,577 passengers had travelled through the Mattala Airport last year, while only 103,324 passengers have travelled via MRIA between 2017 and 2022. The project to initially develop the MRIA costed Rs. 36.56 billion, while Rs. 19 billion had been obtained in foreign loans for the project. It was further stressed that the MRIA was, in fact a project initiated by the government, and not one which was decided by the Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. The latest report issued by the National Audit Office states that the operational cost of Mattala International Airport has exceeded 2 billion rupees, but that cost is about twenty times more than the income. The report also shows that the amount of more than 36.56 billion rupees spent for the construction of this airport has not been used effectively. Mattala Airport’s net loss after tax in 2021 was 4 billion rupees and the net loss after tax from 2017 to 2021 is more than 2 billion rupees, according to the heads of the audit department. The audit report states that although the expected annual passenger capacity of the airport is one million, only 91,747 passengers have arrived in the last five years and only 2,396 flights have taken place in the airport in the last five years. It further states that the company had paid more than 2.6 billion rupees as annual loan installment including interest for the loan of 190 million US dollars taken for the construction of the airport. The International Airport was opened for operations on 18 March 2013. The Airports and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Company Ltd. is in charge of its operations Meanwhile NAO reports also revealed that the Batticaloa International Airport (BIA), which was opened in March 2018, has totaled an operating cost of Rs. 86 million over the past five years, however has failed to generate any income. Ground handling is a critical activity at an airport and acts as an interface between the airport and the airlines. It manages the efficiency and ease of flow at the airport. Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd (AASL+ ground handling service at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) was launched by providing its ground handling services to domestic airlines with incoming passengers.
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