According to the officials mentioned above, this step has been taken since private airlines lure young pilots soon after they receive training in Air India, saving on training expenses.
In an effort to restrict new pilots from moving to other private airlines immediately after completing their training, national carrier Air India has decided to increase the surety bond and bank guarantee that pilots need to pay on recruitment to Rs 1 crore from Rs 50 lakh, two senior officials of the airline told FE. If they don’t pay the money, a pilot must serve the airline for five years.
According to the officials mentioned above, this step has been taken since private airlines lure young pilots soon after they receive training in Air India, saving on training expenses. Of the Rs 1 crore that a fresh pilot has to pay, Rs 12 lakh will be taken as bank guarantee and rest of the amount as a service surety bond.
“It takes a full year to train a pilot and by the time they learn to fly a Boeing 787 aircraft it takes around 3 years. So we need to make sure they work with us for some time or we must recover the cost”, said one of the senior officials mentioned above.
Air India plans to recruit 530 type rated pilots to man the 20 new aircraft this year which will include the new A320 Neo and Boeing 787 aircraft.
“As we are expanding our network we need eight set of pilots for each sector. Some of the senior plots have retired and at preset we have 70 pilots under training. In 2016 we are hopeful of recruiting 200 – 250 pilots as a lot of aspirants do not match our level of expectation,” explained one of the officials mentioned above.
The airline is planning to recruit type rated pilots as the they are trained to fly on a certain kind of aircraft like the wide body or the narrow body ones. The advertisement for recruitment of the pilots have already been out in public domain and the last date for for applying is on January 30.
In the plan to increase the bank guarantees for the new pilots came at time when Air India management successfully brokered a peace between the two factions of pilots by rationalizing their pay structure.
The highly indebted airline also plants to pay it airline related debt of Rs 19,000 crore by 2019 and has also started paying back its working capital loans worth Rs 30,000 crore.