Indian carriers in need of 1,000 pilots till March 2019

With deliveries underway of as many as 1,000 planes that have been ordered until 2030, Indian carriers are looking at shortage of pilots, reports The Economic Times.

These carriers will need as many as 1,000 pilots to fly the new aircraft and the requirement is likely to rise upto 10,000 in a decade.

Break-up for pilot requirement

There is a requirement for 800 to 1,000 first officers and commanders. However, commanders or captains are in short supply.
“Indian carriers require over 800 commanders over the next one year,” said Kapil Kaul, South Asia CEO of Sydney-based consultant CAPA Centre for Aviation.

According to Kaul, the shortage is at about 30 percent, or 240 pilots, in a year.

While there is no dearth of first officers who can be trained to become captains, many Indian carriers haven’t hired enough to meet the demand for commanders.

Another reason is that India does not have many homegrown commanders. On the other hand, the government is discouraging the hiring of expatriates.

“Compared to the steep growth of the Indian airline industry, there is no natural influx of homegrown pilots, especially commanders in India. We have to depend on expatriates,” Cornelis Vrieswijk, CEO of no-frills carrier Go-Air, said in a recent interview.

He added that the red tape and stringent regulatory procedures associated with getting an expatriate pilot ready to fly adds to the problem.

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