Paritta Sridamart is a purser with Abu Dhabi business aviation start-up Al Jaber Aviation. Originally from Thailand, she worked in Sweden in IT for four years before becoming a cabin crew member with Gulf Air and Emirates, joining AJA in April 2009

What are your responsibilities as purser?

My job starts when the passenger's representative arranges the flight. Once we know where he is going and how many passengers, I arrange everything from catering to magazines and toiletries. The whole cabin is my responsibility, including of course the safety and security of the passengers. We keep profiles for each of our clients. We want to know exactly what they like.

Do you need languages?

It helps to speak as many as possible. As well as Thai and English, I speak Cantonese - my mother is from Hong Kong - and also Spanish. I studied in Madrid.


 © Flightglobal/Andrew Costerton
Sridamart: relishes the opportunity to rise in the organisation

What are the differences with being cabin crew on an airline?

One of the biggest differences is that on commercial you are on a roster, whereas here we have standby time as we never know exactly when the aircraft will be needed. You can fly at 2h notice. Other times, you can wait at one destination like the Maldives or Spain for two weeks, or follow the passengers around Europe. With commercial too, you can often do the same destinations and routine. You don't develop and the chances for promotion are limited. With private aviation, you have the opportunity to rise in the organisation. But you have to work really hard. First class on an airline just doesn't compare. Everything in that cabin is your responsibility, including cleaning it. You learn a lot.

There must be some big challenges?

Our clients certainly expect more. Some passengers are easy. Some more demanding. Catering can be difficult in some of our locations, especially in Africa where there is no catering company. We usually use the hotel we are staying in. Keeping the customer happy is certainly the priority. If you make a mistake, you lose them.

Source: Flight International