CAA has no objection to send off aircraft | Daily News
Grounded Aeroflot: AG will make submissions today

CAA has no objection to send off aircraft

No diplomatic dispute, only a commercial dispute between two companies

The government through the Attorney General (AG) will make submissions to the Commercial High Court of the Western Province today (6) seeking reliefs to the third parties affected due to the Enjoining Order on the Aeroflot passenger aircraft flight SU-289, which is currently at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Ports, Shipping and Aviation Services Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said.

He said the particular Enjoining Order has been issued only against the first defendant, which is the Aeroflot Company and therefore, it is not effective on the second defendant, N. C. Abeywardene, who is the acting Head of Air Navigation, Airport and Aviation Services of Sri Lanka (AASL).

The minister told media yesterday that based on this ground, the Director General of Civil Aviation Authority Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama had informed the Aeroflot Company and the Russian Ambassador that the Civil Aviation Authority is ready  to allow the company to take the contentious aircraft, if a request is made by the company. However, the company had not made any request yet as they are well aware that making such a request is against the Enjoining Order and it is in Contempt of Court.

The minister also said that he had spoken to the Russian Ambassador in Sri Lanka on three occasions and has informed that there is no ground for a diplomatic dispute as this is a dispute between two commercial companies.

The AG on Monday will inform Courts the adverse impacts made on Third Parties due to the Enjoining Order such as the suspension of Colombo bound commercial flights by the Aeroflot Airways, impacts on Sri Lankan tourism industry, inconveniences faced by the stranded passengers and impacts on the foreign exchange income of the country.

“This is not an issue created by the government or the people of Sri Lanka. This is a dispute on a commercial transaction between two private parties. However, we are bound by the Order issued by the Court on Monday”, he further said.

The Commercial High Court of the Western Province on June 2 issued an Enjoining Order on the Aeroflot flight restraining it from taking off from the Bandaranaike International Airport. The case relates to a commercial dispute between the Plaintiff of Celestial Aviation Trading Limited, an Irish leasing company against the first Defendant and the second Defendant.

The Commercial High Court banned the particular aircraft from leaving the country until June 16. The case will be taken up again on June 8.


PM clears doubts over Aeroflot legal issue

*Instructs Justice Minister to expedite court case

*Plaint filed in Commercial Court by another company

Shiromi Abeyasinghe

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed the Foreign Affairs Ministry to inform the Russian authorities that the issue of the Russian Aeroflot aircraft is not a diplomatic one but a private issue between two companies.

The Prime Minister’s Media Unit said the Prime Minister had a discussion with the External Affairs Ministry Secretary on the legal issue regarding the Aeroflot flight and had given necessary instructions.

The Prime Minister has also instructed Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe to take necessary steps to expedite Court proceedings regarding the aircraft.

Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday held a media briefing to announce the government’s stance on the Aeroflot aircraft issue.

Earlier, Colombo’s Commercial High Court acting on a complaint filed by Ireland’s Celestial Aviation Trading Limited leasing company against Aeroflot banned its Airbus A330 jet from leaving Sri Lanka until June 16.

A court hearing to lift the seizure of the aircraft is scheduled for June 8.

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