Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a 12-member committee to come up with a restructuring plan for SriLankan Airlines (UL, Colombo Int'l), the Colombo Page has reported.

The advisory body, headed by State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne, will have two weeks to present ideas for the restructuring of the ailing and debt-ridden flag carrier. It will also seek opinions and inputs from external stakeholders.

In December, the President also extended the term of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) which investigates irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering, and Mihin Lanka (MJ, Colombo Int'l), an airline which was merged into the flag carrier in 2016. The PCoI was originally due to conclude its proceedings by the end of 2018 but will now work through February 15, 2019.

DailyFT has reported that the commission was also granted new powers, including the right to request the bank account details of persons under investigation, as well as their spouses and offspring. By law, every Sri Lankan bank is now obliged to provide the details of the transactions requested by the commission.

The PCoI was established in January 2018 and probes alleged malpractices at the two state-owned carriers between 2006 and 2018. It has already uncovered multiple irregularities, including the lack of an established procedure in dealing with General Sales Agents at Mihin Lanka and suspiciously high fees paid to the carrier's GSA in the United Arab Emirates. The Sri Lankan Mirror also reported that Mihin Lanka provided a car for free to an astrologer Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena between 2007 and 2015.

In terms of malpractices at SriLankan Airlines, the PCoI discovered that the airline paid LKR18.8 billion rupees (USD103 million) for cancelling an order for four A350-900s between 2015 and 2017.

As of March 31, 2017, the carrier had LKR90.3 billion rupees (USD495 million) in accumulated debt, although since then the amount is likely to have grown.