New Zealander Captain Claudia Walding has become the first female pilot to take command of Solomon Airlines’ flagship Airbus A320.
Captain Walding has been piloting Solomon Airlines’ Islander and Twin Otter aircraft since joining the carrier in 2000.
Her attainment of an Airline Transport Pilots License allows her to take the helm of the carrier’s A320 flagship, in the process becoming Solomon Airlines’ first female pilot to realise this achievement.
Congratulating Captain Walding on her achievement, Solomon Airlines CEO, Captain Ron Sumsum said her appointment was a benchmark moment for the carrier’s equal opportunity development for its female pilots, her success representing a major achievement especially in the context of a traditionally male dominated Melanesian environment.
“Since joining us Claudia has never looked back,” Captain Sumsum said.
“She is an inspiration to her gender, having the right mindset to turn a long term potential goal into a reality.
“Congratulations must go to Claudia for her determination to rise to the occasion and lead from the front – literally the front of the cockpit – in her quest for high achievement.”