News Item Colombo Page, 1 February 2020: “Mercy flight to Wuhan: SriLankan Airlines expresses gratitude to its courageous crew members and staff”
Feb 01, Colombo: Sri Lankan Airlines expresses its profound gratitude to its patriotic and loyal staff members who volunteered to operate Flight UL1423, the airline’s mission of mercy that brought back our students from Wuhan, China, on Saturday 1st February 2020.
The mission of mercy was carried out on the instruction of the President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Flight UL1423 landed at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport shortly after dawn following its extremely long turnaround flight from Colombo to Wuhan and back and the students were handed over to the care of health authorities and other relevant institutions, including the armed forces, for necessary procedures.
Ashok Pathirage, Chairman, Sri Lankan Airlines, stated: “Our nation has always relied on our National Carrier during times of crisis, be it a tsunami or a terror attack, and we are proud to say that we will always do our duty no matter what the challenges that we will face.”
“The Board of Directors and indeed every employee of Sri Lankan Airlines are extremely proud of the selfless efforts of our 16 crew members who volunteered to fly into Wuhan, which is currently under a lockdown due to the deadly Coronavirus pandemic. Our pilots and cabin staff have gone far beyond the call of duty to ensure that the National Carrier has once again fulfilled its duty to our nation,” said Pathirage.
“Our thanks also to all of our support staff including the Ground Handling staff who handled the passengers of this flight in Mattala and the passengers and cargo of all flights from China on a daily basis at Bandaranaike International Airport, Commercial team, Flight Operations, Inflight Service, Medical Centre, Canton station staff, and Engineering.”
The effort was ably supported by a large number of government institutions and officials including the Presidential Secretariat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka Army, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Acting Ambassador to China and Sri Lanka’s embassy in Beijing, Government of China and Embassy of China in Sri Lanka, Airport & Aviation Services, Sri Lanka Customs, Department of Immigration & Emigration, Ministry of Health and many others.
The National Carrier worked in close co-operation with the Sri Lanka Air Force which sent its Bio Medical Team to Mattala and provided SriLankan with all the equipment needed to make this mission a success.