After its impending merger with Indian, Air-India, the national airline, will be largest in the country with a fleet of 122 planes connecting 58 domestic and more than 60 overseas destinations. As it will together have over 34,000 people, there is not much scope for new jobs, but pilots would be in demand. And many will retire in the next five years. Salaries are lower than private sector rivals, but job security and processes could be better. The new entity will have a turnover of Rs 15,500 crore.
After it acquired Air Sahara, Jet, India’s largest private airline group, has a combined fleet of over 93 aircraft, and a combined turnover of over Rs 9,500 crore. Jet alone has 11,000 people on its rolls (another 5,000 jobs are outsourced) and Sahara (renamed JetLite now) had 4,000 people. So, although it will add new routes, it can hardly afford to add too many people, except for jobs like pilots or crew.
The UB Group-owned Kingfisher, which changed course midway from a value carrier to a full-service airline, has tried to wean away business and other high-income fliers by creating a buzz around its services. This will help airline in its international foray for which it recently ordered for 50 more wide-bodied Airbus jets. It’s not amongst best pay masters in the industry but is playing on the charisma of its chairman Vijay Mallya and its ability to draw people. The UB Group has picked up 26% in Deccan Aviation, which owns Air Deccan.
The Rs 2,100-crore Air Deccan, which bought the concept of no-frills airline to India and made it possible for many middle-class Indians to fly often, is the largest budget carrier with a 18.30 per cent market share. The UB Group has picked up 26 per cent in it. Its aggressive growth has also stretched its resources. Ir is not amongst the better paymasters but offers a challenging job environment.