Air India Express on a hiring spree

Written by Shaheen Mansuri | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 2 2010, 16:05pm hrs
Air India Express (AI Express), the low-cost subsidiary of flag carrier Air India (AI) which flies primarily to West and South East Asia, is on a hiring spree. The move is to fill the gap caused by a heavy exodus of cabin and cockpit crew over the last few months from the airline, citing poor working conditions. The airline, which has a fleet of 21 aircraft, needs 440 cabin crew for its full operations, but only has around 361 at the moment. As many as 50 cabin and cockpit crew have left the airline over a period of three months, sources said.

According to sources, there has been a drastic curtailing of AI Express flights in the recent months due to staff exodus.

Currently, AI Express flies to 14 international destinations which include Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Bangkok.

Around 10% of its capacity is deployed on the domestic front, where it operates flights on the Mumbai-Kochi, Mumbai-Kozhikode, Mumbai-Delhi, Mumbai-Chennai and Mumbai-Pune sectors, among others.

When contacted, an Air India spokesperson said, In some cases, contracts had expired, and those who did not agree with the new terms and conditions decided to leave. Hiring is on at the carrier and suitable candidates who meet our standards will be recruited in phases. We are in an expansion mode and hence, need more staff.

AI Express has plans to enhance its domestic capacity to 27%, as part of its revival plan initiated by National Aviation Company of India (Nacil), AIs parent company. The carrier is profitable, despite its parent AI posting losses of over Rs 5,000 crore for the financial year 2010-11.