Mattala International Airport records massive losses of over Rs 20 billion
Sri Lanka’s state-run Airport and Aviation Services Limited says the company’s Rs 1.6 billion loss up to June 2022 came from foreign exchange denominated loans and cost on borrowings for Mattala airport and the company is usually profitable.
Repayment on two loans by the company taken to expand at the airport at the main Katunayake Airport in Colombo and loan from China to build an airport in Mattala in the South was also suspended, official sources revealed.
The government was paying a sum of Rs. 2.61 billion as the annual instalment and interest for the US$190 million loan obtained to build the Mattala International Airport.
The Auditor General has reported that the operational expenditure of the Mattala International Airport in 2021 was twenty-one times higher than its income for the same period.
According to the report the operational cost of the mattala airport was over Rs. 2 billion and a massive sum of money amounting Rs. 36.56 billion cost to build the airport has not been utilized productively
The net loss after tax in 2021 was Rs 4 billion while the total loss after tax during the period of 2017-2021 was over Rs, 20 billion.
Although the expected annual passenger capacity was 1 million, only 91,747 passenger arrivals were reported during the past five years, an audit report observed.
Only 2396 flight movements were recorded during this period and the passenger handling at the airport has become near stand still, the report divulged.
These comments were made by the Auditor General while reporting on the 2021 financial statements of the Airports and Aviation Services Sri Lanka Private Limited on Dec. 24.
Furthermore, the Auditor General has highlighted the operational performances of the international airports in Rathmalana, Jaffna and Batticaloa.
Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka Private Limited company recently released its Annual report for the year 2021.
Commenting on the report the Auditor General made several key observations including the performance of the airports within the country.
Accordingly, the Company had entered into two agreements with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for funding worth 74,397 million Japanese Yen on the 28th of March 2012 and 24th of March 2016.
The funds were to be utilized for Phase II Stage 02 of Bandaranaike International Airport Development Project, however, 82 per cent of the funding value was awarded with a huge delay on the 4th of March 2020.
Further, a sum of Rs.359.5 million was paid by the Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka Limited from April 20, 2013 to April 20, 2022 to the JICA as commitment fees due to under-utilization of funds.
The Auditor General further highlighted that the Colombo International Airport, Ratmalana had incurred a cumulative loss of Rs. 1.693 billion from 2017 to 2021, including a loss of Rs. 461.08 million for 2021.