Who is Suren?

Suren Ratwatte, FRAeS, is an accomplished pilot, airline executive and aviation researcher.

He became one of the world’s first Airbus A380 Captains, was previously SriLankan Airlines’ CEO and has also been featured in several books and academic publications.

Category: News

  • Dubai Airshow 2021

    Dubai Airshow 2021

    Airshows and holidays The last Airshow in the usual cycle was held in Singapore in early February 2020. The first news of a dangerous new virus was already out, and the even was rather muted. What followed, as we know, was a prolonged nightmare as COVID-19 brought a halt to decades of unparalleled growth in…

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  • Air India back with Tata

    Air India back with Tata

    The last eighteen months has been a disaster for the airline industry. COVID-19 devastated the business early in 2020 and the recurring variants meant that travel patterns never stabilized, especially international travel. India and the ISC region escaped the worst in 2020 only to be crippled by the Delta variant this year. Finally, after months…

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  • Boom or Bust?

    Boom or Bust?

    Boom or Bust? The airline industry as we know it today began with a piece of legislation known as the Air Mail Act of 1925, which was approved by the United States Congress to allow private contractors to carry airmail. The primitive, frail aircraft of the time could barely transport a handful of passengers, but…

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  • Crisis or Opportunity?

    Crisis or Opportunity?

    Is this a good time to start a new airline? There is a common misconception that the Chinese character for ‘crisis’ is a combination of ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’. While this is not strictly true, the concept is valid. COVID-19 has decimated the airline industry. Only the largess of governments worldwide has kept airlines alive. Now,…

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  • Sri Lanka’s aviation sector stirs to life

    Sri Lanka’s aviation sector stirs to life

    FITS Air acquires an Airbus A320 FITS Air, formerly ExpoAir, has recently taken delivery of an Airbus A320, becoming the first private airline in Sri Lanka to do so. This is a landmark occasion for Sri Lankan aviation, one that the airline’s owner’s hope will usher in a new and successful era. In a previous…

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  • Mass tourism in the teeth of a pandemic

    Mass tourism in the teeth of a pandemic

    An experiment in the Gulf The Arabian Gulf, known for its torrid summer heat, is at its best during the short winter. December is particularly lovely, with warm daytime temperatures, cool nights, light winds and calm seas. Perfect vacation weather compared to northern Europe, which is dank and gloomy by then. What better time to…

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  • The ‘end of the beginning’?

    The ‘end of the beginning’?

    Will vaccines be the ‘silver bullet’ that restores the travel industry? The first death attributed to a ‘novel coronavirus’ named COVID-19 occurred on January 10, 2020. The first case detected outside China was confirmed in Bangkok, Thailand on January 13– just three days later. The day before that, Chinese scientists had released the genetic sequence…

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  • Has the mirage in the Persian Gulf come to an end?

    Has the mirage in the Persian Gulf come to an end?

    The Great Cull begins The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the airline industry is becoming apparent. With travel greatly restricted (if not impossible) since late March 2020, the airline industry has been in a tailspin. Many airlines have ceased to operate altogether or have initiated bankruptcy proceedings. Many more have suspended their employees,…

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  • End of the runway for my beloved A380?

    End of the runway for my beloved A380?

    The demise of the ‘Uber Plane’ In June 2019 this column asked “Who killed the A380?”. By then it was obvious that Airbus’s flagship was not a sales success, and its eventual demise was only a matter of time. However this writer predicted that the aircraft would probably fly on for ‘at least 15 years’.…

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  • Airline Apocalypse?

    Airline Apocalypse?

    Last man standing The world has belatedly woken up to the consequences of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic now upon us. No precedents The first of my columns that raised awareness of this issue was written in early February. At that time I anticipated that the impact would be much worse than the SARS epidemic, with…

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