Woman appointed chief pilot in Australian first

Woman appointed chief pilot in Australian first

SYDNEY - Jetstar Thursday announced the appointment of a woman as its chief pilot - the first to hold such a position in Australia and one of the few in the world.

Georgina Sutton, currently Qantas' Boeing 767 Fleet Captain, beat off stiff competition and will take up the job in February.

"We are delighted that Captain Georgina Sutton will join us early next year as chief pilot after being successful against a number of high calibre internal and external candidates," said Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief David Hall.

"Georgina has demonstrated strengths in leadership, technical expertise, operations and shares our strong focus on safety."

Sutton will become one of the few women in the world to reach such lofty heights, following in the footsteps of Davina Pratt at Aer Lingus, the national carrier of Ireland.

Sutton first took to the sky as a 16-year-old when she flew gliders in South Australia.

She has piloted Boeing 747s and 767s, and previously said one of her career highlights was flying Queen Elizabeth II and and her husband Prince Philip from London to Singapore in 1992.

Some 900 pilots will report to Sutton, who joined Qantas in 1989.

Earlier this year she told reporters she did not find the male-dominated atmosphere among pilots tough to deal with as she had previously worked as a police officer, and "had exposure to a broad range of demographics".

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