Emirates said that it was willing to sell all or part of its 43.6 per cent share of the airline after declining to renew its 10-year management contract, which expires in March.
 
"Emirates has notified the government of Sri Lanka that it will not be renewing the shareholder's agreement, which expires on March 31," the airline said in a statement.
 
"With effect from April 1, management control of Sri Lankan Airlines will pass to the government of Sri Lanka."
 
"It's an amicable parting," Clark said.
 
Seat controversy
 
Last month the Sri Lankan government revoked the work permit of Peter Hill, the chief executive officer of Sri Lankan Airlines, who was seconded from Emirates.
 
This came after the airline refused seats to Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan president, and 35 officials who were visiting Britain.
 
Clarke said Emirates would look for about $150 million for the complete stake and that Sri Lankan investors might be interested in buying the share.
 
Emirates paid $70 million for its stake in Sri Lankan airlines in 1998, with the Colombo government retaining the majority share in the airline.
 
Emirates had been expected to renew its management deal and expand the carrier's fleet by up to 30 aircraft.
 
Emirates does not have a stake in any other airline.