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.

  • 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…

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  • Max Redux

    Max Redux

    Boeing 737MAX flies again The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), the agency that regulates the US aviation industry, finally re-certified the Boeing 737 MAX – deeming it safe to carry passengers – on November 20, 2020, by issuing Airworthiness Directive US-2020-24-02. This follows a comprehensive review of the aircraft, its systems and pilot-training requirements, which took…

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  • ‘Avro’ HS 748

    ‘Avro’ HS 748

    Alliot Verdon Roe was another of the world’s almost-forgotten aviation pioneers. In 1909, only six years after the Wright brothers first flew in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, young Roe designed, built and flew the first British aircraft in Hackney, near London. A.V. Roe and his brother Humphrey formed the Avro aircraft company in 1910. Their…

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  • 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…

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  • Drowning in debt – Part 2 of the interview with Counterpoint

    Part II   UL has to meet its debt obligations, or it cannot function- Industry expert Sri Lankan Airlines Cover Story Nov 2, 2020 Read excerpts of CounterPoint’s exclusive interview with former CEO of SriLankan Airlines, Suren Ratwatte, as he weighs in where Sri Lanka’s national carrier is headed. Q. What kind of restructuring should…

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  • SriLankan Airlines post-COVID. Does it have a future?

    This is Part 1 of a two part interview with Counterpoint magazine.   SriLankan Airlines continues to bleed money- who would care enough to make it stop? SriLankan Airlines Oct 25, 2020 Heavily unionized and long used as a playpen by politicians, the SriLankan Airlines Group has incurred a loss amounting to billions in rupees.…

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  • Where is the Airline Industry headed?

    Where is the Airline Industry headed?

    The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation held its annual summit (virtually) in Sydney, Australia last week. This writer spoke at the 2018 conference and was a panellist in 2019. By comparison, the 2020 affair was a shadow of its former glory. Despite the organisers’ best efforts to foster online chat rooms and virtual networking events,…

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  • The world’s longest scheduled flight

    The world’s longest scheduled flight

    The world’s longest flight What’s the world’s longest flight? That is a matter of some dispute and the subject of a ‘pissing contest’ among some of the world’s most prominent airlines. Current claimants Before the worldwide COVID-19 shutdown Singapore Airlines had a tenuous claim for the ‘longest flight’ — the Changi to Newark (New Jersey,…

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  • 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…

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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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