Sri Lanka’s national airline said on Wednesday (Sept 12) that it has stopped serving cashews after the country’s president flew into a rage over nuts served to him on a flight to Colombo.
“Returning from Kathmandu, I was served some cashews on board a SriLankan flight, but it was so bad even a dog wouldn’t eat it,” President Maithripala Sirisena said on Monday.
“I want to know who authorised the purchase of these nuts,” he told a meeting of farmers.
An airline spokesman said the carrier has responded by clearing its stock of cashews – served only in business class – and would change its Dubai-based supplier.
This is not the first time that airline nuts have prompted outrage.
In 2014, a South Korean heiress famously ordered a Korean Air plane back to its gate to eject a cabin crew member after she was served nuts still in their packet.
Last month, Colombo renewed its search for an equity investor in the loss-making and heavily indebted SriLankan Airlines after the International Monetary Fund warned that the airline was dragging the country’s economy down.
In May last year, attempts to privatise the carrier collapsed after a United States private equity firm withdrew its bid for a 49 per cent stake.
The airline was profitable before Mr Mahinda Rajapakse, when he was president, cancelled a management agreement with Emirates in 2008 following a personal dispute.
The carrier had refused to bump fare-paying passengers and give their seats to Mr Rajapakse’s family.
Mr Rajapakse removed the Emirates-appointed chief executive of SriLankan and made his brother-in-law Nishantha Wickremasinghe the head of the company.
Mr Wickremasinghe is now under investigation for corruption and mismanagement.