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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka pushes airline privatization as debt grace period ends

Experts welcome PM's plan for national carrier despite doubts over finding buyer

One economist told Nikkei Asia that privatizing loss-making SriLankan Airlines was "long overdue."   © Reuters

COLOMBO -- A Sri Lankan plan to privatize its national airline has brought rare murmurs of optimism, mixed with a large dose of skepticism, as the country hits the end of a debt grace period and runs out of fuel.

Newly appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced the decision on the airline Monday evening, offering no details of how the government intends to offload a carrier that lost 45 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($129 million) in the 2020-2021 financial year.

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