By Staff Correspondent
Air India, the Tata group-controlled carrier, has announced its plan to hire over 4,200 cabin crew trainees and 900 pilots in 2023 to prepare for the induction of new aircraft, only 10 days after signing record aircraft purchase orders. The airline had recently announced plans to purchase 470 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus to support its growth plans, making it the single largest order in the world. Air India has already announced plans to lease 36 aircraft, of which two B 777-200 LR have joined the fleet.
Air India will require more than 6,500 pilots to operate the 470 aircraft, which it plans to induct beginning in the second half of this year. With a fleet of 113 aircraft, Air India has around 1,600 pilots. The Air India group has about 227 aircraft translating to a pilot strength of approximately 3,000.
The cabin crew will undergo a 15-week program to impart safety and service skills and will be coached to exemplify the best of Indian hospitality and Tata group culture. The training program will include extensive classroom and in-flight training at the airline’s training facility in Mumbai, as well as familiarisation flights.
Between May 2022-February 2023, Air India hired over 1,900 cabin crew staff, and in the past three months, 500 cabin crew members out of these have joined flight duties. Sandeep Verma, Head of Inflight Services, stated that “with the new aircraft order, more flights on international and domestic networks, and re-alignment of domestic routes with Air India Express, cabin crew will play a decisive role. We are also looking to step up hiring of more pilots and maintenance engineers.”
Air India’s latest order comprises 210 A320/321 Neo/XLR and 40 A350-900/1000 from Airbus, while the Boeing order comprises 190 737-Max, 20 787s, and 10 777s. The cabin crew and pilots will be trained to operate and maintain these new aircraft safely and efficiently.