The Airbus A350 can be called a success with a backlog of over 800 aircraft. So far Emirates was the only airline canceling their entire A350 order. SriLankan Airlines has ordered a total of 4 Airbus A350-900s, but is looking for a way out of the deal. Line number 52, once decorated with the SriLankan colors, has returned from the paintshop in a white livery… Could this be the first A350 white tail?
Canceling the Airbus A350
SriLankan ordered the Airbus A350 in June 2013. It was found that the airline had more cost efficient options. The order for the Airbus A350 was part of a trail of corruption which cost the airline over $0.6bn dollars.
The statement from the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s Office says:
“A Board of Inquiry has found shocking details of corruption running into billions of dollars, manipulations of service contracting, recruitment of unqualified staff and major security breaches at Sri Lankan airlines under the former government… The former government of President Mahinda Rajapakse made management changes to carry out a re-fleeting of the airline with brand-new aircraft costing $2.3 billion despite the availability of more cost effective alternatives… BOI also recommends criminal investigations on the involvement of Udayanga Weeratunga former Ambassador to Russia and Dilan Ariyawansa in several GSA appointments.”
The airline says that it does not need the Airbus A350. In order to preserve cash has canceled the 4 Airbus A350s that still needed to be built. The 4 aircraft that were already built will be sold. Sri Lankan airlines will have to find customers for these airframes, but for now we are seeing the first A350 white tail.