AirAsia India ramps up cabin crew hiring; aims to go global

AirAsia India, the newly formed joint airline venture between Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia, Tata Sons and Telestra, has ramped up hiring in India as it gets closer to the official take-off signal.

It is also keenly awaiting permission to fly international routes, and has drawn up plans to recruit pilots for wide-bodied, long-haul aircraft.

Although rules restrict new airlines to domestic routes for the first five years of their operation, AirAsia India is said to be sounding the government for relaxation of this rule.

The airline expects to hire more than 50 flight attendants at a walk-in interview at its Chennai headquarters next week.

The Airports Authority of India has said unofficially that the new airline's officials have already approached them for space at terminals and the airside to set up the required infrastructure.

The airline's current focus is to connect smaller cities with Chennai and eventually connect other small towns across the country with their respective state capitals.

The Chennai start is because it can immediately offer convenient changeover options to its international services, mainly across South-East Asia and the Pacific region.

"The walk-in interview for flight attendants will be held on 13 April. Hiring of pilots is expected to start in May or June," said a spokesperson for the airline. Around 5,000 people are expected to appear for the interview, she added.

The airline considers its employees, including flight attendants, "ambassadors to the brand" and believes "an exceptional workforce is the key in elevating the brand, setting the airline apart from the rest," said a statement from the airline.

Air Asia India was formed after the Foreign Investment Promotion Board passed the proposal for the new airline. The venture still needs final permission from the civil aviation ministry as well as a licence from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

But, with the experienced Tata Group at its back, the new airline seems sanguine about handling the multiplicity of permits required to start a street-legal business in India.

"Infrastructure facilities at the airport will be set up and aircraft imported only after we get these permissions," the airline said.

On the hiring front, Air Asia India plans to recruit flight attendants - both male and female - between 20 and 35 years of age, with a school certificate, and be fluent in spoken and written English as well as at least one local language. Experience will help, but newcomers to the job field can apply.