On Dec 28 the Ukrainian airline SkyUp Airlines made its first flight from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, to Hambantota Airport. The charter flight program will last until March 17, 2022 and will provide only the option of a 10-day round-trip departing from Kyiv. The flight lasts 10 hours 40 minutes and provides a technical stop at Sharjah Airport (UAE). Flights will be operated four times a week – on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, a press release said.
It said: Resort destinations with a warm climate are especially popular among Ukrainian tourists, including Sri Lanka. After a nine-month lockdown in Sri Lanka, Ukrainians became the first tourists to visit the island on a SkyUp flight in late 2020. According to the State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine, the number of Ukrainians traveling to Sri Lanka is growing every year: if in 2020 the island was visited by 1.7 thousand Ukrainian tourists, in the first half of 2021 this number was more than 2.5 thousand people, who flew to rest in Sri Lanka. They are attracted by incredible beaches, exotic greenery, and the soothing sound of ocean waves.
SkyUp Airlines is a private Ukrainian airline, the ultimate beneficiaries of which are Tetiana, Yuriy, and Oleksandr Alba. The company works on a hybrid model – operates charter flights and scheduled flights. The flight program includes more than 60 international destinations from Kyiv and the regions – Odesa, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, and Lviv. The network of routes covers Europe, North Africa, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.
SkyUp offers its passengers several fare plans for travel with numerous discounts. The possibility of changing the departure date will add confidence in the planning of the trip: passengers who buy tickets at Standard and Flex fares can change the departure date conveniently and profitably. A special button “Change departure date” works in the personal account of the passenger registered on the skyup.aero website. The departure date in the Standard fare can be changed once with a surcharge, in the Flex fare the change of the departure date is free of charge three times for one flight.
To make each trip even more enjoyable and delicious, SkyUp together with the international catering agency Do & CO have developed a special menu that will make you feel like you’re in a restaurant. SkyBox for all tastes, as well as special menus are available: Muslim, vegetarian, dietary, kosher. And for little passengers, SkyUp has prepared a Kids Box with a delicious main course and a delicious dessert.
Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review
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.
Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets
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”,
Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO
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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