SriLankan Airlines presented `Wings` to 14 new pilots, following their successful completion of the national carrier`s rigorous training program.
The airline`s Cadet Pilot Training Program has earned a strong reputation for its high standard. The high standards of SriLankan`s pilots contributed to the airline receiving the rare honour of being named `World`s Most Efficient Small Fleet Operator` of two types of aircraft - A330`s and A340`s - by Airbus Industry.
Head of Flight Operations Capt. Druvi Perera said, `When we selected these 14 young men, we did not select them as Cadet Pilots, Junior First Officers, or First Officers. We selected them as future Captains. I have every confidence that all of them will in a few years be wearing the uniforms of Captains.`
No less than 16 pilots who joined SriLankan as Cadet Pilots several years ago, have earned promotions to the rank of Captain this year.
Head of Human Resources Pradeepa Dahanayake said, `The Cadet Pilot Training Program has always been of immense pride to the entire airline. It is an extraordinary program, which has turned out hundreds of pilots over several decades, including most of our veteran Captains today.`
Selection for the program is extremely competitive, and every Cadet Pilot sits examinations at regular intervals during the training. Cadet Pilots undergo a year and a half of instruction which includes flying training, simulator training overseas and classroom instruction.
Capt. Perera said, `Pilots at SriLankan have a very proud history indeed. Throughout our 29 years we have gained a reputation in the industry as an airline that maintains the highest standards in service, safety and efficiency. It is also no coincidence that we have one of the finest safety records in the world of aviation.`
The new pilots received their wings from the airline`s most senior pilot, Capt. Hiranjan Bibile, who was the chief guest at their graduation recently.
Junior First Officer Udesha Amarasinghe topped the batch, and received a special award from Manoj Gunawardena, the airline`s CEO.
The airline is currently training another group of Cadet Pilots, and yet another batch is now being recruited and will shortly commence training.