Emirates, the award-winning airline of the UAE, has acquired a 40 per cent equity stake in the national carrier Air Lanka.
According to the agreement, Emirates will pay US$70 million in two tranches, the first of U8545 million on signing and the balance two years later. There will be no management fee.
The agreement, which also includes ground handling and catering, was signed in Colombo by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Emirates Group, and Dixon Nilaweera, Secretary to the Treasury, for the Sri Lankan Government.
A statement issued by the Sri Lankan Government said: "The value of the government shareholding (60 per cent) will be enhanced through better aircraft utilisation, higher passenger yield, improved employee productivity and better use of the bilaterals. Linking up with a carrier with a strong international presence will also add to the national carrier's international image and position it as a worthy player in the increasingly competitive global market."
Sheikh Ahmed commented: "This is the first time that Emirates...