India needs 10k pilots by 2030, AirAsia nurtures cadets

Despite the current slump in the domestic aviation market, India will require up to 10,000 new pilots by 2030. Acknowledging this, AirAsia India on Tuesday launched the country’s first cadet-pilot programme, ready to send its first batch of 15 cadets to New Zealand for flight training.

By passenger volumes, India was ranked second globally among the fastest growing domestic markets for aviation. This would only mean the requirement for pilots will spike in the future, even as the Kingfisher and Jet Airways pilots are being absorbed by other airlines.

To get the cadet-pilot project going, AirAsia India has partnered with New Zealand Academy and Harrison Omniview Consulting. As part of the 18-24 month course, selected candidates will be trained at the currently under-utilised Oamaru airport in New Zealand’s Waitaki district.

The first batch of the cadets will come out in 2021, informs AirAsia India’s Head of Operations, Capt Manish Uppal. Cadets earn their second officer rank and commercial pilot license after 500 hours of flying before graduating to first officer, senior first officer and captain, in charge of the entire aircraft and crew.

28/05/19 Rasheed Kappan/Deccan Herald

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