Air India Charters (AICL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, has initiated the process of hiring 40 expat pilots for a term of three years for flying the company’s B 737-800 narrow body planes. Government officials said that AICL operates flights to West Asia and Southeast Asia and will be expanding its fleet next year for which pilots are required.
“AICL plans to increase the fleet size to 25 aircraft from 17 aircraft by 2016-17,” said the officials. The subsidiary operated 350 flights every week. The hiring, officials said, is in anticipation of “short-term requirement” of up to 40 pilots in the next three years.
For the same, Air India has initiated the tendering process for selection of agencies for hiring the pilots. The tender also lays down the requirements for the pilots, including remuneration and qualification criteria.
“The bidder (agency) can place its bid to induct as many pilots, minimum being five, for technical qualification, by the end of this year,” said officials. However, Air India has taken care of its rentention process. If any pilot, once inducted quits before six months, the agency fees will be confiscated.
Retention of pilots have been a constant problem for the state-owned carrier. Recently, 20 Dreamliner pilots planned to quit for better options in private companies. Experts said that is one reason why Air India will rather hire some additional pilots, fearing shortage later. Private companies, to which Air India loses its staff, have better salaries and often better work environment. In 2014, the carrier saw exit of 40 pilots.
Officials said that they expect the process of hiring the expat pilots to get over by early next year, before the fleet of AICL is expanded.