BFF-38 Airline removes nuts after Sri Lanka president’s rage

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SRILANKA-AVIATION-OFFBEAT-NUTS-FOOD-DRINK

Airline removes nuts after Sri Lanka president’s rage

COLOMBO, Sept 12, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Sri Lanka’s national airline said
Wednesday it has stopped serving cashews after the country’s president flew
into a rage over nuts served to him on a flight to Colombo.

“Returning from Kathmandu, I was served some cashews on board a SriLankan
flight, but it was so bad even a dog wouldn’t eat it,” Maithripala Sirisena
said on Monday.

“I want to know who authorised the purchase of these nuts,” the president
told a meeting of farmers.

An airline spokesman said it has responded by clearing its stock of cashews
— only served in business class — and would change its Dubai-based
supplier.

This is not the first time that airline nuts have prompted outrage.

In 2014 a South Korean heiress famously ordered a Korean Air plane back to
its gate to eject a cabin crew member after she was served nuts still in
their packet.

Last month Colombo renewed its search for an equity investor in the loss-
making and heavily indebted SriLankan after the International Monetary Fund
warned that the airline was dragging the country’s economy down.

In May last year, attempts to privatise the carrier collapsed after a US
private equity firm withdrew its bid for a 49-percent stake.

The airline was profitable before Mahinda Rajapakse, when he was president,
cancelled a management agreement with Emirates in 2008 following a personal
dispute.

The carrier had refused to bump fare-paying passengers and give their seats
to Rajapakse’s family.

Rajapakse removed the Emirates-appointed chief executive of Sri Lankan and
made his brother-in-law Nishantha Wickremasinghe head of the company.

Wickremasinghe is now under investigation for corruption and mismanagement.
BSS/AFP/MSY/1311 hrs