Air India has announced to increase the hiring of pilots and maintenance engineers with its plans for fast expansion of its fleet and network. The airline will onboard more than 900 pilots and 4,200 trainees for cabin crew this year, reported Bloomberg.
The hiring announcement comes shortly after the airlines’ order for a large number of aircraft from Airbus and Boeing. The order consists of 470 planes and includes 370 options that have the potential to increase the total order size to as many as 840 planes.
Air India and Air India Express currently have a fleet of approximately 140 planes, with most of them being narrow-body aircraft. Air India has ordered 470 planes, out of which 70 are wide-body and 400 are single-aisle planes. The airline plans to receive 31 of these aircraft this year.
After being acquired by the Tata Group a little over a year ago, Air India’s new owners have prioritised improving the airline’s products and services, as well as planning a significant expansion. They have developed a five-year plan called Vihaan.AI, which aims to substantially increase the airline’s network and fleet to achieve sustained growth, profitability, and market leadership.
Reportedly, the order for 470 planes, including the largest number of aircraft ever ordered by an airline at one time, has already been confirmed. Furthermore, the airline has begun the process of leasing 36 aircraft, two of which are already in its fleet.
After the merger of Air India and Vistara to create a full-service carrier, and the merger of Air India Express and AirAsia India to create a low-cost airline, the Air India group would require a significant number of pilots to operate its expanded fleet once all the planes are delivered. Some reports suggest that more than 6,500 pilots may be needed.
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