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: travel

  • 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,…

    Read More →

  • The crash of Icelandic Airlines flight LL001 — Part 1

    The crash of Icelandic Airlines flight LL001 — Part 1

    The crash of Icelandic Airlines flight LL-001 In 1978 Sri Lanka was emerging from a long period of economic isolation. A landmark election the year before had ushered in a change of government, with a mandate to open up the economy. Rebuilding ties with the West, long-ignored during a period of austerity and socialist policies,…

    Read More →

  • 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…

    Read More →

  • Domestic and Regional travel shows green shoots

    Domestic and Regional travel shows green shoots

    Will domestic travel save the airlines? Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, good news in the travel sector is still hard to find. Despite the rollout of vaccines international traffic continues to be virtually at a standstill, with a -72.3% degradation in the calendar year to date, according to newly released International Air Transport Association…

    Read More →

  • A winter of discontent

    A winter of discontent

    A winter of discontent? The world’s beleaguered travel industry had a glimmer of hope last week. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced a 90% success rate in tests of their vaccine for COVID-19. The company added that it would continue widespread testing, and hopes to have a usable product within a few months. The successful deployment of…

    Read More →

  • No more overseas trips?

    No more overseas trips?

    Is International travel at a standstill? Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas Group one of the best performing airlines in the world, certainly seems to think so. Qantas has stated that the airline will make major changes as part of a ‘post-COVID’ recovery plan. This will include over 100 aircraft being grounded for up to 12…

    Read More →

  • Pan Am

    Pan Am

    Pan American and flying boat era While the Big Four were connecting the continental USA from coast to coast, Juan Trippe and Lindbergh were concentrating on the overseas routes. They persuaded the US government to grant them a virtual monopoly on international routes and set out to build Pan Am into a giant airline. Their…

    Read More →

  • Looking back to the roots – the start of the world’s airlines

    Looking back to the roots – the start of the world’s airlines

    Imperial Airways and the colonial airlines Europe in the 1920s was still reeling from the devastation of the Great War. With their treasuries emptied, a whole generation of youth dead or wounded, societies in turmoil and trust in leaders at an all time low, the governments of the day turned to aviation to try and…

    Read More →

  • Tired of COVID let’s talk about the weather

    Tired of COVID let’s talk about the weather

    The Monsoon – a basic guide “And then the rains came….” Which they seem to have done last night in Colombo – the Southwest monsoon making an on-time arrival. The Southwest Monsoon is one of the most interesting meteorological events in the world. It is also, literally, the single biggest indicator of economic performance for…

    Read More →

  • A new type of Bubble

    A new type of Bubble

    Travel Bubbles We have all heard of ‘financial bubbles’. Every decade or so Wall Street produces one that eats up our investments.  Students of history will recall the Tulip Bubble of 17th century Holland and the South Sea bubble a hundred years later in England, both of which led to speculative frenzies followed by financial…

    Read More →