ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday April 13, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 46

Pilots air grievances

Members of the Pilots’ Guild of Sri Lanka will meet next week with the board of directors of SriLankan Airlines to discuss their demand for the removal of Senior Manager Flight Operations, Captain Milinda Ratnayaka, from his post. The guild cites “irregularities” as the reason for their demand.

The meeting, scheduled for last week, had to be postponed as two of the directors were not available, Pilots’ Guild president Captain Sujith Jayasekera said. The guild members said they were dissatisfied with the present flight operations management team. Their list of complaints included the manipulation of flight rosters and alleged irregularities in appointments, upgrading and transfers between fleets. The guild claimed that all these were done “without any transparency”.

The guild added that the Pilots’ Union had on several occasions intervened and succeeded in preventing such malpractices. The guild also claimed that unfair treatment had forced several pilots to leave SriLankan Airlines, with many moving on to take up jobs with foreign airlines.

The guild said that since April, when Capt. Ratnayake was given extra responsibilities that virtually covered the post of chief technical officer, more pilots had decided to leave the airline.

One of the matters the guild wished to discuss with the board of directors was how to stop the drain of pilot talent, which if left unchecked could result in a major crisis for the airline. Meanwhile, when contacted by The Sunday Times, Capt. Ratnayaka said there was no truth in the allegations against him and that he was the victim of a personal vendetta.

He said all pilots who left the airline had to attend an exit interview, and not one had said he was leaving because of problems with the management. The pilots, he claimed, had all said they were leaving for better financial prospects.

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