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Emirates crowned World Class Airline at the APEX Official Airline Ratings™

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Emirates has been named World Class Airline at The APEX Official Airline Ratings™ awards, becoming one of the first airlines to be recognised in this new award category that stands at the pinnacle of all APEX Passenger Choice awards. In addition, Emirates was renewed as Five Star Airline by APEX, and clinched its fourth APEX Passenger Choice Award® for Best Entertainment at the APEX/IFSA Awards ceremony, the industry’s largest in-person event of the year.

Developed in conjunction with Yates and Partners, the new “World Class Airline” award is unique in considering not only an airline’s services and products, but also its health and safety, and sustainability efforts – reflecting the expectations of today’s customers and key focus areas for the airline industry.

Like all APEX awards, the “World Class Airline” accolade was based on independently verified and audited ratings from over a million air travellers.

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “This is an honour dear to my heart, as it celebrates the amazing work of our worldwide team at Emirates in reaching the new pinnacle of APEX World Class. This recognition is due to the tireless work and efforts by the people of Emirates in delivering safe journeys, stepping up to sustainability initiatives, and in delivering the highest standards of service. I’m confident the World Class paragon will play a very important role in our industry, helping advance a focus on sustainability for the betterment of our world. On behalf of all of us at Emirates, we’re proud to be one of the first airlines worldwide to be named APEX World Class.”

Joe Leader, Chief Executive Officer of APEX said: “Emirates’ continuous improvements in passenger experience permeates in their every effort. The exceptional service, leading IFEC, pristine health safety practices, and new fuel-efficient aircraft orders underline the values we hold dear with Emirates as an APEX World Class airline.”

Operating modern and fuel-efficient aircraft always has been central to Emirates’ business model and it the airline’s ongoing, multi-billion dollar commitment to passenger comfort, and to reducing its environmental impact. Emirates also has a long-standing comprehensive fuel efficiency programme that actively investigates and implements ways to reduce fuel burn and emissions, wherever it is operationally feasible. At the recent Dubai Airshow, the airline signed an agreement with GE Aviation to develop a programme that will see an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER, powered by GE90 engines, conduct a test flight using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Emirates is also a proud member of the Clean Skies for Tomorrow coalition, established by the World Economic Forum.

Against the backdrop of the pandemic, Emirates led the industry on many initiatives to assure customers and build travel confidence. This included: being the first to introduce complimentary COVID-19 travel medical cover all customers, fast-tracking refunds, offering generous waiver and rebooking policies, and helping its loyalty programme members retain tier status and miles. In addition to enhanced hygiene protocols, Emirates also rolled-out several initiatives to enhance health and safety, and ease the customer journey, including: being the first airline to sign up to roll-out the IATA Travel Pass across its global network, fast-tracking the installation of advanced biometrics technology at its Dubai hub for smooth processing and a contactless airport experience.



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Business

Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review

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by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.

In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.

* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021

* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021

* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021

* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021

* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22

Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion

Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21

First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.

“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.

As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.

First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.

However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.

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Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets

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Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.

Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,

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Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO

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Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.

The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.

Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.

In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.

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