SriLankan takes service to the classroom

The national carrier SriLankan Airlines took its award winning service
into the classroom, fostering an entirely new array of career
opportunities for young adults in the global aviation industry.Opening its doors on June 14, 2006, the International Aviation Academy
(IAA) is Sri Lanka’s first ever professional industry skills training
facility, with accreditation from leading international bodies including
the International Air Transport Association (IATA), City and Guilds and
Edexcel International.

A brainchild of the SriLankan Airlines’ Human Resources Division, the
IAA will cater to the increasing demand for airline industry specific
training and mid-career training by local and international airlines.


“The IAA will bridge a long standing void for an internationally
acceptable training facility,” said SriLankan Airlines Chief Executive
Peter Hill.



The IAA is also in discussions with Sri Lankan Universities to obtain
accreditation for its programmes at the Post-graduate Diploma level.


“It will supplement Sri Lanka’s technical and vocational education
system, opening up new opportunities to the youngsters and give them a
grounding in international service standards,” said Head of Human
Resources Sunil Dissanayake.


The IAA has also won recognition from other industry apex bodies, with
the Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka (TAASL) and the Sri Lanka
Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) appointing the Academy as
a training partner.


Over 100 SLAITO and TAASL representatives have undergone training with
the IAA already.


SriLankan Airlines’ trained personnel have been much sought after by
leading international airlines, with a number of Sri Lankans now manning
top posts in the airline and hospitality industry.


“A number of international organisations are already talking to us to
send their staff for training and to recruit candidates who obtain IAA
qualifications. This is a major boost for the industry and for the
country,” Dissanayake said.


Based at the Company’s Administration Complex at Katunayake, the IAA
will train students in a range of airline specific programmes including
Airline Ticketing and Sales, Cabin Crew Training, Air Cargo Skills and
Procedures, Flight Dispatch Programmes and Airline management among


Courses range from three day refresher programmes to full 16 week
modules and cater both to existing airline staff in addition to young
adults looking for an entry into the airline industry.


All programmes have an on the job component, which exposes participants
to real life situations and a platform to test their classroom learning.


Students must also satisfy minimum entry qualifications, which include
placement tests and interviews.


The IAA will also launch an e-learning wing towards the year end.


The IAA faculty are all trained professionals with vast experience in
the industry in their specific fields of specialization.


The faculty also retains over 20 visiting facilitators both from Sri
Lanka and abroad.