Air India to hire 500 pilots, 1,500 cabin crew in 2-3 years

Air India is expected to hire about 500 pilots and over 1,500 cabin crew over the next two to three years in order to meet the requirement of a fleet size that is likely to see a major expansion.

Air India envisages addition of 100 more aircraft in the next four years, a senior official said.

"We are planning to have 700 more pilots in the next two to three years keeping in view of the fleet expansion. From last August till now, we have already recruited 250 pilots. So we are going to recruit about 500 more pilots. Advertisement for 400 pilots has already been floated," Air India's general manager (operations) N Sivaramakirshnan said.

Last year, Air India hired 78 pilots, although it had planned to recruit 200 trainee pilots (senior trainee pilot licence holders who come with A320 endorsement). All of them are now flying on various routes, he said.

Air India has a current pilot-strength of 858, after losing about 100 pilots last year. Nearly 150 pilots will be added to the current strength after they complete training by December this year.

"We have plans to have cabin crew of 3,000 personnel. Besides the existing number, we are planning to take 1,500 more in the next two to three years," he said.

Air India, he said, is expected to add another 100 aircraft to its fleet in the next four years.

The official said Air India currently has three A320 simulators in Hyderabad and four Boeing group in Mumbai to train pilots.

"We are planning to order one more simulator for training on ATR aircraft in Hyderabad. RFI (request for information) has already been floated. By January next year, we hope that it would be operational," he said, adding that the cost of the simulator would be about Rs65 crore while an additional Rs6 crore would be required for the construction of building and other facilities for the ATR simulator.

Though Air India does not have any ATRs in its fleet, services will be provided to its wholly-owned subsidiary 'Alliance Air'.