By Rajeewa Jayaweera
The national carrier SriLankan Airlines operated an eighteen seater Flysmiles Hospitality Booth at Lord’s Cricket Grounds in London on Friday, 10 June and Saturday, 11 June during the third test match between England and Sri Lanka. Free food and drinks had been served to invitees.
A group photograph which contained former cricketing greats Sidath Wettimuny, Aravinda de Silva, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, cabinet minister Arjuna Ranatunga and cricket commentator Ranjith Fernando besides the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Commercial Officer of SriLankan Airlines has been published in the media.
The published cost of a hospitality booth at Lord’s for the England Sri Lanka test match was GBP 5,000 per day for first three days and GBP 3,000 per day for last two days. The hospitality booth had been obtained by SriLankan Airlines head office free of charge on one day and at a cost of GBP 5,000 less member’s discount by courtesy of the Chairman on the other day. Cost of food, beverages and Champagne was paid for separately.
The airline granted 14 free return air tickets to London for members of the Foundation of Goodness dance troupe, an MCC supported charity project in Sri Lanka. They performed at the Westminster Concert organized by Lord Mayor of London and sponsored by MCC. Cost of 14 return air tickets to London including opportunity costs would amount to more than GBP 5,000 booth rental for a day.