At a time when many of its peers are scouring the world to fly their planes, Air India has inducted 44 new pilots, taking their strength at the state-owned carrier to 1,244.
The new pilots were inducted after they cleared tests conducted by the Central Training Establishment, the airline’s own
The boom in the commercial airline activity in India has left the country with an acute shortage of pilots. To overcome pilot shortage carriers were allowed to hire foreign pilots and medically fit pilots above the age of 60.
According to industry estimates, of the 3,000 pilots in India, 600 are foreign pilots. The country will need as many as 10,000 pilots by 2020 as carrier scale up their capacities. Experts also feel the country would still be short of trained aviators as the “gene-pool of pilots is shrinking faster than it is growing.”
Air India spokesman, Jitendra Bhargava on the recent recruitment said, “The induction of these new pilots in the airline will create a new line of co-pilots and these pilots after successfully flying for 2,000 hours would be eligible for commanding an aircraft. Simultaneously we will also train fresh pilots and have a batch of fresh co-pilots ready."