Sri Lanka’s flag carrier SriLankan Airlines is making a big move in the market by seeking to dry lease a large range of aircraft, including regional jets, narrowbodies and widebodies.

The airline says in a statement it intends to dry lease the aircraft for four to six years or more, and is now inviting qualified bidders to respond to its tender.

SriLankan Airlines has listed the number and aircraft models it is interested in, as follows: 

Aircraft  Quantity Preferred Model Types Lease Period
Regional jets Up to 11
  • Airbus A220-100 
  • Airbus A220-200 
  • Embraer E190/E2 
  • Embraer E195/E2
6 years or more
Airbus A320 or Airbus A321 Up to 11
  • Airbus A320ceo 
  • Airbus A321ceo 
  • Airbus A320neo 
  • Airbus A321neo 
4-6 years
Airbus A330 Up to 10
  • A330-200 
  • A330-300
4-6 years
New Generation Widebody Up to 10
  • Airbus A330-800 
  • Airbus A330-900 
  • Airbus A350-900 
  • Boeing 787-9 
  • Boeing 787-10
6 years or more


The airline says it wants aircraft that are less than 15 years old.

Bidding will be conducted through an international competitive bidding (ICB) procedure, it says, adding that interested parties need to submit their proposals, bid acknowledgement forms as well as supporting documents to the airline before 18 April.

Once done, eligible parties will receive the necessary bidding documents from SriLankan Airlines which they then need to complete and send through by 16 May, the airline says.

Data from and shows SriLankan Airlines’ fleet includes: six Airbus A320s, four Airbus A321s and 11 Airbus A330s. The airline has never operated regional jets before.

It was reportedly facing financial difficulties even before the pandemic. Local media reported that in the fiscal year ending March 2021, SriLankan Airlines lost 58 billion Sri Lankan rupees (US$181 million).

The airline told local media last year that if the pandemic situation improves, it will bounce back, adding that it has expanded its cargo business.

The airline says in a statement last month that it is doubling its flights to India to match pre-COVID levels, as the India market opens up.

In terms of Sri Lanka’s domestic market, there are some small local operators looking to expand or enter the market, even though Sri Lanka’s economy is in turmoil. 

There have been large-scale protests in the streets in recent weeks with people protesting against electricity blackouts as well as rising prices and shortages of fuel, food and other essentials. 

Smart Aviation Asia Pacific reported in January that Sri Lanka’s FitsAir is expanding beyond cargo into scheduled passenger operations and is seeking De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Dash 8-400s on lease. There is also would-be start up, Fly Lankan Asia, that is aiming to launch cargo and passenger services.  The Sri Lankan Air Force’s Helitours, meanwhile, recently received its commercial air operator certificate. 

Smart Aviation Asia Pacific has reached out to SriLankan Airlines for comment.

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