SriLankan Airlines (UL, Colombo Int'l) has issued a wide-ranging Request for Proposals for the dry lease of up to 42 aircraft covering all segments of jet aircraft.
The RFP is split into four separate calls, of which two concern current-generation Airbus narrow- and widebody aircraft, and the other two new-generation regional and long-haul aircraft.
The current-generation narrowbody request seeks the lease of up to eleven aircraft, which can be A320-200s, A320-200Ns, A321-200s, or A321-200Ns. Deliveries are tentatively scheduled between December 2022 and April 2025, although the carrier said it is willing to renegotiate this timeline with the selected lessor. The airline is also seeking up to ten A330s, either A330-200s or A330-300s. Deliveries are expected to commence in December 2022 and continue through October 2025. SriLankan Airlines intends to lease all of the current-generation aircraft for 4-6 years each and requires that the aircraft be less than 15 years old at the time of delivery. They can be delivered in pre-existing cabin configuration with an option of reconfiguration.
The new-generation RFP for regional jets concerns the dry lease of up to eleven aircraft, which can be A220-100s, A220-300s, E190-E2s, or E195-E2s. Deliveries are tentatively planned between December 2022 and April 2025. The lease duration will be six years or more. SriLankan Airlines said the aircraft have to be less than 15 years old at the time of delivery, although the requirement is moot as all four types have not been in production for that long.
Finally, SriLankan Airlines is seeking ten new-generation widebody aircraft with deliveries starting in December 2022 and continuing through October 2025 for leases lasting at least six years. The carrier identified the A330-800, the A330-900, the A350-900, the B787-9, and the B787-10 as preferred types.
The carrier said additional details would be available to bidders who submit signed bid acknowledgement forms. It did not specify whether it was planning to lease both the current- and new-generation aircraft or rather considered the RFPs as alternative solutions. Chief Executive Richard Nuttall has since told ch-aviation that an exact fleet plan is still being finalised so the final number of aircraft added may vary depending on pricing and availability. He stressed that the aircraft would be both for the replacement of SriLankan's current fleet as well as for growth.
The ch-aviation fleets advanced module indicates that SriLankan Airlines currently operates five A320-200s, two A320-200Ns, one A321-200, four A321-200Ns, five A330-200s, and seven A330-330s. It has never operated any regional jets. It has four A350-900s on firm order from Airbus, although it has been involved in negotiations to scrap the deal, which was allegedly secured through corruption. Last year, the carrier also issued an RFP for a single widebody freighter but has yet to select an operator. The airline was financially struggling before the COVID-19 pandemic but has repeatedly claimed that the crisis allowed it to accelerate restructuring.
Editorial Comment: Updates with CEO's comments - 12.04.2022 - 07:11 UTC