The Sri Lankan government is looking to commence negotiations with international airlines to find a partner for SriLankan Airlines, in the light of US firm Texas Pacific Group (TPG) turning away from its bid to buy a 49 percent stake in the airline.

According to Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne, the government will conduct discussions with the likes of Emirates, which has been in touch with the national carrier.

While a majority stake in SriLankan Airlines will not be sold, the government is also taking steps to revive the airline. It had cancelled orders made by the previous administration for four new A-350 aircraft that were scheduled to be delivered this year.

The flag carrier is also expected to commence flights between Melbourne and Colombo towards the end of this year.