Ceyline Group, one of Sri Lanka’s most diversified marine services group, on Monday chartered a SriLankan Airlines flight to Cochin to repatriate a 120 Indian seafarers who had completed contracts and signed off from ships off the port of Galle.
The A321 aircraft departed Colombo Bandaranayake International Airport (BIA) at 1.30 pm yesterday, carrying marine crew from seven International Ship Management companies.
This was the second SriLankan Airlines flight chartered by Ceyline. The first one was on July 20 where 50 Indian seafarers were brought to Sri Lanka from Cochin, to join ships off the Port of Galle.
The company said in a media release that Sri Lanka was able to come to the aid of the international shipping community by being a safe location for facilitating the change of ship’s crew, which is critical for the safe operation of ships.
This crew change logistics generate income streams for the local shipping agents, the ancillary service providers as well as the healthcare and hospitality industries.
The mandatory PCR tests are done at local hospitals and the seafarers stay at hotels which have been converted into secure isolation centers until their respective flights or ships arrive.
These services all paid for by international shipping companies, thereby generating foreign exchange earnings to the country during these turbulent times.
“When the President gave his consent to conduct crew changes in Sri Lanka he made a request from the shipping industry that SriLankan Airlines be used for marine crew transfers wherever possible. Ceyline will continue to support our national carrier despite cost benefits offered by other airlines,” said Capt. Ajith Peiris, Chairman of Ceyline Group.
Crew change logistics and transfer operations at Ceyline are handled by a team which is headed by Mevan Peiris, Capt. Channa Abeygunawardena and Mrs. Charmini Abeywickrama.