Colombo - State-owned carrier SriLankan Airlines is in talks with Airbus to replace four A350 widebody jet ordered with smaller planes that are more suitable for its route network.

SriLankan Airlines renegotiates with Airbus the balance of A350 aircraft in its order book to convert four of them at competitive prices, to smaller ones that Sri Lanka needs in the next ten years.

SriLankan aims to do it without any financial burden to the Sri Lankan government and wants to be sure to have the right aircraft type that its fleet needs.

The negotiations are going very well, and the idea is that the at the current market prices these orders will be converted into more suitable aircraft, which will be delivered to SriLankan Airlines in the next 5 to 7 years,
said Mano Tittawella, advisor to the finance ministry at Srilankan government.

Ranjith Fernando, the new Chairman of the company who took over the board last April, hired experts to bargain with Airbus. The airline expects some progress in negotiations by the first quarter of 2019.

The annulment of A350 orders from Aercap by the previous board had also caused controversy and criticism due to the payments made to the lessor.

Financial downward spiral had begun for SriLankan after Emirates Airlines sold its 44 percent share in the company in 2010.