Jetstar Airways, the Australian low-cost airline headquartered in Melbourne and subsidiary of Qantas, made history today with the promotion of Georgina Sutton to chief pilot. This is the first time in Australian aviation history that a woman has been appointed to this position, which means Sutton will be the most senior pilot within the airline and charged with overseeing the management of around 900 pilots.
The decade-old airline will have Sutton taking over the role in February of 2015, when current chief pilot Captain Mark Rindfleish returns to flying Boeing 787s. Before being appointed to this new position, Sutton was already the highest-ever ranked female pilot in Australian aviation.
Sutton has worked for Qantas and later Jetstar since 1989, when she started with the company as a second officer. An assignment to the newly commissioned 747-400 led to the honour of flying Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip to Singapore. Since then she also served the company with roles in audit, safety and fleet management. Around this time in 2013, Sutton was appointed the 767 fleet captain. In her new position
“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 CEO David Hall. “Georgina has demonstrated strengths in leadership, technical expertise, operations and shares our strong focus on safety.”
Female pilots are a rare breed, both domestically and abroad. Less than 10 percent of pilots for major Australian airlines are female. Sutton has made an effort to encourage other women to join the profession by speaking at a number of school career nights and her old Scout flying club. Her appointment is subject to approval by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Information sourced from the Herald Sun.