The flight attendants union of the Sri Lankan Airlines has written to the Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism stating they are perturbed and disheartened by the extremely irresponsible request made by her to the Director General of Health services to do away with the PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) worn by the Cabin crew.

In a letter addressed to the DGHS the chairperson of the SLT has said that this was necessary to promote tourism form Russia and various destinations in Europe and if the Cabin crew is fully vaccinated against the Covid virus to allow them to doff the PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)

The letter written by the Flight Attendants Union to the Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tourism Kimarli Fernando, under the signature of their President Sidath Dedigama is self-explanatory.



Ms. Kimarli Fernando


Sri Lanka Tourism

80, Galle Road, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka.


Dear Madam,


Request to remove wearing of PPE requirement for flight crew who are fully vaccinated.


The Flight Attendant Union (FAU) is the sole representative of the Cabin Crew of Sri Lankan Airlines.

We are perturbed and disheartened at the extremely irresponsible request made by you to the Director General of Health Services by way of your letter ref: SLTDA/CHA/391

At the onset we wish to state in no uncertain terms that the FAU as a responsible Union will take all measures lawfully available to protect the crew, the general public and specifically the passengers and the children under the age of 12 who are not vaccinated that you are callously attempting to place in grave danger.

We remind you that Sri Lanka is currently under lockdown due to the potent variant of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus, and should the lockdown be successful, all of us in the travel industry have to act with great responsibility to our Nation whilst it recuperates until the deadly virus is overcome by all of us.

It is mainly inside an aircraft (where we are frontline staff), that new viruses enter our island nation. Vaccinated or not, Crew can get infected, carry the virus, and infect others.  As such, to act with utmost responsibility is a primary duty of ours whilst navigating through a global pandemic.

We also wish to state that the FAU wholeheartedly supports responsible tourism, wherein primarily the citizens of our nation are protected and the tourist who travel to Sri Lanka are truly protected and made to understand that they are travelling to a destination that has taken precautions to duly protect them from COVID-19, instead of letting our guard down and placing them in grave danger.

First protect our citizens. To the tourist, please portray Sri Lanka as a safe destination, a country that has taken responsible and due precautions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of tourist who chose to travel to our resplendent isle.

To the world, please paint a picture of our nation as a responsible tourist destination and not one of ignorance and or greed.

Your insinuation that frontline staff have to let our guard down, in order for you to promote our destination is a direct insinuation that the very tourist you are trying to bring down to Sri Lanka are gullible beyond being conscious to a global pandemic.

The picture you are attempting to paint to the tourist, is false and misleading. Specially at a time a highly infectious variant of the virus is prevalent in our Country.

We advise you that it is responsible tourism that we should promote and not be reckless in our misguided attempt to woo tourist.

You must understand that for cabin crew to be clad in such PPE for long durations inside an aircraft is an arduous task, nonetheless a lifesaving necessity we are compelled to endure during a pandemic.

We don such PPE, not by choice but by genuine necessity.

We will be the first to doff the PPE when it is opportune and safe not only for us but also the passenger.

It is pertinent and prudent to paint a truthful picture of us frontline staff enduring the many difficulties of being in protective PPE to ensure the safety of our travelers rather than resort to deceptiveness.

Since the advent of the new potent variant of the virus to Sri Lanka, the FAU as a responsible Union has worked diligently with the SriLankanairlines Management in enhancing the health and safety protocols, thus ensuring that the Crew and passengers are duly protected from the virus. By way of an extensive Health and Safety assessment spanning several days and over 17 hours of strenuous studying and reviewing each and every vulnerability of our in-flight service we have endeavourd to identify every point in which the passengers and crew could be susceptible to contamination from the virus.

The extensive health and safety assessment carried out and remedial actions taken in keeping to WHO, IATA and ICAO standards has enabled us to declare that we are one of the safest airlines in the world for passengers to travel, being assured that they are protected from infection during flight.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, as a predominantly Buddhist nation we implore you that you desist from trying to mislead and misguide our passengers, but resort to the Gautama Buddha’s doctrine of being truthful and genuine in our course of action which will indeed ensure responsible tourism.

Whilst our jobs depend on the very tourist you are trying to woo by deception, it is our position that we have a greater duty of care to the passengers we carry in our aircraft.

As such, as a responsible Union we reiterate that responsible tourism should be what is promoted for Sri Lanka by way of genuinely being responsible for their safety and wellbeing.  


Sidath Dedigama.President,

Flight Attendants Union.


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