SriLankan Airlines (UL, Colombo International) has issued a Request for Proposal for the dry lease of five A330-200s or A330-300s for six years with bids due by March 27, 2023.

The state-owned carrier expects the delivery of all five aircraft within 2023 under six-year contracts with an extension option.

The carrier expects to take the first two aircraft in May 2023, another two in August, and the final one in November. SriLankan's preference is for -200s with a maximum take-off weight of at least 233 tonnes or -300s with an MTOW of at least 238 tonnes. The airline did not specify a precise expected number of seats but stressed the aircraft would have to be equipped with lie-flat or flat-bed business class seats. The aircraft must not be older than 15 years at the time of delivery and have at least 12,000 flight hours, 8,000 flight cycles, and 36 months until its next C-Check.

SriLankan Airlines expects to utilise each aircraft for 4,750 flight hours and 1,000 flight cycles per year.

The carrier strongly prefers Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. Aircraft with other engine types will be considered only "if the engines are enrolled in an OEM power-by-hour maintenance agreement or the lessor agrees to provide substitution engines in-lieu of a shop visit event".

The RFP follows a tender in December 2022, which covered five A330s and five A320s. SriLankan Airlines said earlier it needed the five newly leased widebody aircraft to replace the current A330s, the leases of which are due to expire shortly. The ch-aviation fleets module shows the airline's widebody fleet currently comprises five A330-200s, which are 20.5 years old on average, and seven -300s, which are 7.8 years old on average. All twelve aircraft are dry-leased: the -200s from Carlyle Aviation Partners (three), and AerCap (two), and the -300s from Avolon (six) and Air Lease Corporation (one). SriLankan confirmed to ch-aviation that three A330s are scheduled to leave the fleet in 2023 and all the other current widebodies gradually through 2027.