Mihin Lanka

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Mihin Lanka
මිහින් ලංකා
மிஹின் லங்கா
Mihin Lanka logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 27 October 2006
Commenced operations 24 April 2007
Hubs Bandaranaike International Airport
Alliance Oneworld (affiliate)
Fleet size 4
Destinations 14[1]
Parent company SriLankan Airlines
Headquarters Colombo 02, Sri Lanka
Key people

Mr. Ajith Nissanka Dias (Chairman)

Captain. Suren Ratwatte (CEO)
Website www.mihinlanka.com

Mihin Lanka is a low-fare leisure airline based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is owned by the Sri Lankan government.[2] The airline operates scheduled flights from its hub at Bandaranaike International Airport to a number of cities in the Indian subcontinent, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Pakistan, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Africa. It code-shares with its partner SriLankan Airlines on several routes, as part of a consolidation exercise between the two airlines. Currently it operates four (4) aircraft.[3][4]

The airline is believed to have been named after Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former President of Sri Lanka. Mr. Ajith N. Dias is the current Chairman and Captain. Suren Ratwatte is the current Chief Executive Officer.[5][6] The airline has been plagued by financial losses, debt, waste, corruption and other irregularities since its inception in 2007.[7] In order to reduce losses and increase produtivity, the government has approved to merge Mihin Lanka with SriLankan Airlines by the end of 2016.[8][9]


Mihin Lanka was incorporated on 27 October 2006.[10] Its three directors were Sajin Vass Gunawardena (CEO), Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (Chairman, brother of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa) and Roshan Goonatilake (Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force).[10] It was launched without the approval of the Cabinet or the Civil Aviation Authority and its three aircraft were leased without a tender process.[10][11]

Mihin started operating on 24 April 2007 with two wet leased Airbus A320 aircraft.[12][13][14] It was established by the Sri Lankan government to operate services to India and the Middle East. Initially, Mihin connected Colombo with seven destinations - Tiruchirappalli, Thiruvananthapuram, Bodhgaya, Bangkok, Singapore, and Malé and Gan in the Maldives.[12][15]

In December 2007 Mihin was forced to ground the A320 serving India after the aircraft's Bulgarian owners BH Air had instructed its pilots not to fly the aircraft as Mihin had not settled its lease payments.[16] In the same month SriLankan Airlines withdrew its ground handling facilities for non-payment forcing Mihin to manually pushback its aircraft before take off and use its own staff to handle the check-in counters.[16] In February 2008 Mihin lost of one of its aircraft, an A321, after its Turkish owners Best Air took it back for non-payment of lease.[14][17][18] In April 2008 it lost its other aircraft after its Bulgarian owners took it back for non-payment of lease.[14][19] Having lost both its aircraft the company was forced to suspend all operations in April 2008.[14][20] In April 2008 it was announced that Gunawardena would resign as CEO but remain on the board.[21][22] Gunawardena didn't resign but in June 2008 he was dismissed and replaced by Anura Bandara.[23] Gunawardena went on to become a Member of Parliament for President Rajapaksa's party.

Later in 2008 Mihin leased a 19-year-old A320.[24] Kapila Chandrasena replaced Anura Bandara as CEO in November 2008.[25] Mihin resumed operations on 1 January 2009 with a flight to Dubai.[26][27][28] In November 2009 Mihin took over an ex Air Deccan Airbus A320. In December 2010 Mihin purchased an Airbus A321 whose maiden flight under the Mihin name was on 16 December 2010.[29]

In September 2011, Mihin Lanka announced that it plans to serve Bangkok, Chittagong, Kozhikode, Manila and Singapore, once it takes delivery of its third aircraft.[30] In August 2012, the airline took delivery of its third aircraft, an Airbus A321.[31]

The airline won the Bangladesh Monitor 'Best Budget Carrier' award in 2011.[32]


The airline also operates to Chittagong in the form of a luxury coach service connecting passengers to and from its flight to Dhaka, where they will board Mihin Lanka's flight to Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Mihin Lanka has codeshare agreements with the following airlines (as of July 2015):


Mihin Lanka Airbus A320-200 in the ramp area of Bandaranaike International Airport
Mihin Lanka Airbus A320-200 after landing at Dubai International Airport

As of July 2016 the Mihin Lanka fleet consisted of the following aircraft:

Mihin Lanka fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Notes
J Y Total
Airbus A319-100 1 12 108 120
Airbus A320-200 1 180 180
Airbus A320neo 2 TBA
Airbus A321-200 2 12 190 202
Total 4 2

In 2013 it was announced that the airline would lease two Boeing 737-800 from 2015.[33] However Mihin Lanka revised the lease agreement and leased two Airbus A320neos and one A319-100 instead due to the cost of introducing Boeing aircraft into Mihin's all-Airbus Industrie fleet.[34]

Aircraft operated[edit]

Aircraft Introduced Retired
Airbus A319-100 2015
Airbus A320-200 2006 2007
Airbus A320neo TBA
Airbus A321-100 2007 2008
Airbus A321-200 2010
Boeing 737-800 2008 2009

Incidents and Accidents[edit]

On 6 January 2008, Mihin Lanka flight MJ401 from Colombo to Dubai was forced to issue a Mayday call and perform an emergency landing at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai after one engine developed a severe oil leak and stopped working. Passengers were informed that the incident was due to the plane leaving Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo without a vital component in one engine. There were no casualties.[16]

On 9 April 2012, Mihin Lanka flight MJ603 from Colombo to Jakarta, called an emergency landing back to Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake after about 1 hour from take off, due to a suspected fire in the cargo hold. According to the engineers a fire had not erupted within the plane but was a technical fault. No casualties reported.[17]

On 13 May 2014, an A321 (call sign MJ-502) from Dhaka to Colombo made an emergency landing at Dhaka airport few minutes after takeoff due to navigation system failure. Passengers expressed extreme displeasure over the actions taken by Mihin Lanka ground staff in Dhaka as well as Colombo immediately following the incident.


Mihin Lanka Airbus A320-232 at Shahjalal International Airport for the first time

The Sri Lankan government initially made an equity investment of LKR250 million in Mihin.[35] Lanka Putra Bank, headed by Sajin Vass Gunawardena' father, also invested LKR300 million in redeemable preference shares.[36][37] In 2008 the government gave Mihin LKR500 million to strengthen its financial position.[35] In 2009 the government gave Mihin a further grant of LKR3,000 million.[38][39] The government has also guaranteed two bank loans taken out by Mihin: a three-year (2006–09) LKR250 million loan from the state-owned Bank of Ceylon and a three-year (2009–12) LKR1,553 million loan from the Bank of Ceylon to lease an aircraft.[38][39][40] In 2010 the government made a further equity investment of LKR2,754 million, taking its total equity in Mihin to LKR3,004 million as at 31 December 2010.[41]

Mihin has been financially troubled since it was established.[42] Official government figures show that between 2007 and 2010 it made losses totalling LKR5,877 million.[41] Despite cutting its workforce from by a third and changing from wet lease to dry lease Mihin continues to make annual losses of LKR1-2 billion.[43] It has been reported that between April 2011 and January 2012 Mihin made losses of LKR1,700 million and that the government would settle LKR2.4 billion of loans on behalf of the company.[44][45] Mihin was unable to repay a LKR500 million loan it received from the state-owned Airport Aviation Services (Private) Ltd and the government had to settle the loan on behalf of Mihin.[42] Opposition politicians have called for the closure of Mihin which they claim has lost LKR13 billion since creation.[46][47]

Mihin has also been subject to financial irregularities with the financial figures it provided to Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) being contradicted by the findings of the Auditor General.[42]

Profit & Loss (LKR million)[39][41]

2007 2008 2009 2010
Revenue - 2,570 373 1,700
Expenditure 195 4,970 1,080 2,488
Gross Profit/(Loss) (195) (2,400) (707) (728)
Net Profit/(Loss) Before Tax (195) (3,161) (1,300) (1,221)

Balance Sheet (LKR million)[39][41]

2007 2008 2009 2010
Non-Current Assets 23 39 55 38
Current Assets 381 264 386 482
Current Liabilities 599 2,805 2,089 2,606
Non-Current Liabilities 550 304 2,759 3,541
Equity (195) (2,608) (4,406) (5,628)

Awards and achievements[edit]

  • Low Cost Airline of the Year 2011 – The Bangladesh Monitor Awards[48]


  1. ^ "Mihin Lanka Destinations". 
  2. ^ "Optimizing Mihin Lanka". Airline Industry Review. 2010-05-13. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  3. ^ "Mihin Lanka Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Mihin Lanka Fleet, Airfleets aviation". Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Mihin to launch domestic flights Daily News, 2009-01-06
  6. ^ Sulochana Ramiah Mohan (2010-02-14). "People’s perception of Mihin has changed- CEO". Lakbimanews. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  7. ^ "Corrupt officials, politicians exposed (COPE) but committee lacks power: DEW". Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 4 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Sri Lankan government to merge SriLankan and Mihin to cut losses, increase productivity". 
  9. ^ "Mihin Lanka to wind up this year , increase productivity". 
  10. ^ a b c Dilrukshi Handunnetti; Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema; Arthur Wamanan (16 December 2007). "Trainee foreign pilots fly Mihin". The Sunday Leader. 
  11. ^ Kirinde, Chandani (8 February 2009). "Mihin Lanka gets tender blow with mammoty". Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 
  12. ^ a b Mihin Lanka to Dubai AME Info, 2007-04-21
  13. ^ "Mihin Lanka’s first Airbus arrives at BIA". Daily News. 2007-03-17. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  14. ^ a b c d Francis, Leithen (9 July 2008). "Sri Lanka's grounded Mihin Lanka still seeking A320s". Flightglobal.com. 
  15. ^ "Mihin Lanka consolidates in Singapore". Daily News. 2007-10-15. 
  16. ^ a b "SriLankan Airlines". Lanka Standard. 
  17. ^ Francis, Leithen (12 May 2008). "Mihin Lanka closes". Flightglobal.com. 
  18. ^ "Mihin loses A-321 due to default". The Sunday Leader. 24 February 2008. 
  19. ^ Samarasinghe, Sonali (16 March 2008). "Govt. and directors caught in legal net as Mihin Lanka crashes". The Sunday Leader. 
  20. ^ Abeywardena, Rohan (6 July 2008). "Mihin staff ‘grounded’ without pay". Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 
  21. ^ "Captain Jumps first from the sinking ship, Mihin Air CEO resigns". Colombo Page. 19 April 2008. 
  22. ^ Ionides, Nicholas (17 June 2008). "SriLankan CEO expects no strategy shift following withdrawal of Emirates". Flightglobal.com. 
  23. ^ Abeywardena, Rohan (8 June 2008). "Mihin Air’s controversial CEO removed". Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 
  24. ^ Jayasundera, Ranjith (15 June 2008). "Continuing saga of Mihin". The Sunday Leader. 
  25. ^ Jayasundera, Ranjith (18 January 2009). "Mihin again losing millions per day". The Sunday Leader. 
  26. ^ "Dubai ride launches Mihin Lanka". Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 4 January 2009. 
  27. ^ "Mihin Lanka re-launch on Jan. 1". The Island, Sri Lanka. 28 December 2008. 
  28. ^ "Mihin Lanka resumes operations". CAPA Centre for Aviation. 12 January 2009. 
  29. ^ "Mihin Lanka launches second aircraft". Colombo Page. 16 December 2010. 
  30. ^ SIRIMANE, Shirajiv (15 September 2011). "Mihin goes for third aircraft". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 
  31. ^ Lanka, Mihin (1 September 2012). "Mihin adds another Airbus A321". Mihin Lanka official website. 
  32. ^ "Bangladesh Monitor awards best airlines". The Daily Star. 29 January 2012. 
  33. ^ "Sri Lanka budget carrier to operate Boeing 737s from 2015". Lanka Business Online. 25 October 2013. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. 
  34. ^ "Mihin Lanka switches ALC lease deal from B737s to A320neo". 
  35. ^ a b "Performance Report 2007" (PDF). Department of Public Enterprises, Sri Lanka. 
  36. ^ Samarasinghe, Sonali (8 July 2007). "Shaky Mihin Lanka runs into a storm". The Sunday Leader. 
  37. ^ Samarasinghe, Sonali (13 January 2008). "SriLankan Airlines in financial tail spin". The Sunday Leader. 
  38. ^ a b "Annual Report 2009" (PDF). Ministry of Finance and Planning (Sri Lanka). 
  39. ^ a b c d "Performance Report 2009" (PDF). Department of Public Enterprises, Sri Lanka. 
  40. ^ "Annual Report 2008" (PDF). Ministry of Finance and Planning (Sri Lanka). 
  41. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2010" (PDF). Ministry of Finance and Planning (Sri Lanka). 
  42. ^ a b c Vishleshaka, Arthika (11 December 2011). "Huge losses in public enterprises burden finances". The Bottom Line (Sri Lanka). 
  43. ^ Hemmathagama, Ashwin (20 November 2011). "State Owned Loss Makers Still At Large". The Sunday Leader. 
  44. ^ Mohan, Sulochana Ramiah (26 February 2012). "Colossal loss incurred by Mihin". Lakbima News. 
  45. ^ Bastians, Dharisha (29 December 2011). "Treasury to settle Mihin's loan". Ceylon Today. 
  46. ^ Jabbar, Zacki (20 February 2012). "Shut down Mihin Air, losses exceed Rs.13 billion-Harsha". The Island, Sri Lanka. 
  47. ^ Ladduwahetty, Ravi (1 February 2012). "SriLankan nosedives with Rs. 19.5bn loss". The Island, Sri Lanka. 
  48. ^ "Bangladesh Monitor awards best airlines". The Daily Star. 

External links[edit]