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Sun, 23 November 2014 06:03:33
Sri Lankan Airlines appoints its first female Captain
28 Aug, 2008 18:30:48
Aug 28, 2008 (LBO) - Sri Lankan Airlines has appointed a female pilot, Anusha Siriratne, as Captain of an aircraft for the first time, the national carrier said in a statement.

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"It doesn't make a difference whether you are a man or a woman when flying," the statement quoted Siriratne as saying.

"The circumstances don't change, the weather is the same, and the aircraft doesn't know the difference!"

Siriratne said women have lagged behind in the field of aviation in Sri Lanka, in comparison to the rest of the world.

"Even in neighbouring countries such as India, women have been airline Captains for many years now," she said.

Her husband Hemantha is also a pilot in Sri Lankan and received his Captain's appointment earlier this year.

They are the first husband-wife pilot duo in the country, the statement said.

Druvi Perera, Acting Senior Manager Flight Operations of the airline, said it now has several more female First Officers in the fleet, and hope to see them in command in a few years.

Sri Lankan has several female managers in senior positions in most of its nine divisions.

It also has women in areas that have traditionally been dominated by men such as aircraft engineering, the airline said.

Siriratne said that commanding an airliner has been a long-standing ambition.

She took a year off from flying when her daughter Anika, now five, was born.

Siriratne joined SriLankan as a Cadet Pilot in June 1998 and served as a Second Officer on the Lockheed L1011 Tristar fleet.

In 1999 she was promoted to First Officer when the airline was phasing out its aging Tristars with the advent of the all-Airbus fleet.

She became a First Officer on the A320's, A330's and A340's, flying to cities throughout SriLankan's network of destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

She obtained her Private Pilot's License at the local flying training school, CDE Aviation, and her Commercial Pilot's License in Texas.

Before joining Sri Lankan, she had a short stint as an Instructor at Sky Cabs, another domestic airline.

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READER COMMENT(S)
8. Priyanthi Oct 09
Congratulations dear!! This is a great acheivement for all of us. We are so proud of you. This will make all other women who have such dreams to work on them and get them realised rather than dreaming about it the whole life :-)
7. Perera Oct 08
Well done !!
This is great achievement of a lady, besides being a Wife and being a Mother..
6. Sep 29
Congrats anusha! well done :) hope to hear of you on my next flight :)
5. Paliha Sep 13
Well done, Sri Lankan girls!
You are the best ladies in the world!!
Does SriLankan give us the option to select our captains when we fly?

There must be a difference when a woman is in command!!

4. jovi Aug 31
Congrats we as Sri Lankans should be pround this and wish many nmore like this for Sri Lankan airlines.
3. Deepal Aug 29
Catain Anusha may downplay this acheivement, but it is a very imporatant event in Sri lanka's aviation history. She & her husband also makes avaition history as they become the first Sri Lankan husband/wife duo in commerial avaition
2. Aug 29
Good for you,Anusha! You have proved that Women are as good as Men in many fields.Good luck to you in your flying career!
1. Jass Ranasinghe from Dubai Aug 28
Congratulations Anusha ! You have made history. You are an inspirations to Sri Lankans and great!