Tuesday, 15 April 2008 8:49 AM

First Solomons Female Pilot Resigns

The country's only female pilot, Elizabeth Ramoni, has resigned from the national air carrier, the Solomon Islands Airlines.

Attempts to get an interview with Ms. Ramoni on reasons for resignation were not possible.

However, a reliable source within the Airlines told the National Express that her resignation is partly related to unfair treatment by the management to local pilots in terms of salary level.

The source said local pilots are not happy with the current salary they are receiving in comparison to what the foreign pilots are getting.

The source said this discrepancy has been an issue for so long.

Other local pilots who have resigned earlier also cited similar sentiments and have taken up lucrative offers overseas, including Captain Rove who is now serving in the Caribbean.

The source said other local pilots may follow suit if the Airlines' management continue to ignore the problem.

"Ms. Ramoni's resignation is making a strong statement to the management to think seriously about the issue," said the source.

The source has revealed that foreign pilots who are serving as first officers (new pilots) are paid equal with local pilots who have the titles of captain.

"Foreign pilots who have the title of Captain are paid better than the local captains," the source revealed. "This is unfair and local pilots are calling on the management to treat all pilots equally."

With Ms. Ramoni's resignation, Solomon Airlines domestic flights could experience an increase in flight cancellation to the provinces.

Our source has revealed that the airline does not have enough pilots and with the pilots they have, most have almost exhausted their flight hours' quota.

The source explained that "pilots just don't fly, they have to be mindful of the regulation with regards to flight time."

"Most pilots' flight time is so high, that some flights have to be cancelled. And with the resignation, the traveling public is expected to see more cancellation of flights to the provinces," said the source.

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