MUMBAI | NEW DELHI: Indian carriers will hire at least 5,000 professionals across categories this year — pilots, cabin crew and airport ground staff — buoyed by the recent boom during the aviation sector which saw high attrition and retrenchment following the onset of the downturn in 2008.
“Airlines had pulled out at least 20% ability during the industry during the downturn. That ability was restored last year and we see airlines adding another 20% ability this year and would be hiring 4,500-5,000 individuals this year,” said Kapil Kaul, CEO of aviation consultancy company Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, South Asia.
The Indian aviation sector will grow by 18-20% this year, said aviation industry experts. Among airlines, national carrier Air India Airlines and low-cost airlines IndiGo and SpiceJet will add more than 1,000 this year. “Our flights will go up to 350 flights per day from 221 currently. We are during the technique of hiring 200 pilots, 400-500 cabin crew and as many airport ground staff this year at IndiGo,” said Aditya Ghosh, president, IndiGo.
Demand for pilots is rising because of the dearth of professionals. Airlines are chasing expats as the aviation regulator has allowed foreign nationals being employed as pilots till December 13, 2013.
“The fact these days is that all airlines in India are asking for foreign pilots and no single agency can supply those people many numbers. Airlines in India have asked all agencies that these pilots needs to be recruited on an urgent basis,” said somebody directly involved with hiring of expats, requesting anonymity.
In all, airlines are looking for about 230 commanders on an immediate basis , based on recruitment agencies. “We are searching to hire 500-600 pilots to meet the demand,” Jet’s chairman Naresh Goyal had said recently. Jet, which seems to add 49 aircraft, need 100 commanders alone to meet its international expansion plans. Jet Airways , during the downturn, had fired 1,800 flight attendants only to re-hire them following protests and political intervention. It also slashed salaries by up to 25% at greater levels.
GoAir, which plans to add 20 aircraft by 2014, will hire 250 individuals this year with 100 every for cabin crew and ground staff and 50 pilots. The only airline that doesn't look being on an expanding spree stands out as the Vijay Mallya-promoted Kingfisher Airlines . The airline pulled ability by 22% during the downturn, losing pilots to competitive airlines.
Aviation experts, however, feel that the modern-day hiring spree usually do not translate into greater salaries because of inflation and other costs. “Salaries will only go up by 15-20% on an average,” said an expert.
The staffing agencies are conservative in their demand projections. “2010 was a recovery year, which saw world-wide-web addition of 1,500 people, but 2011 is a boom year and we’ll see world-wide-web addition of 3,000 individuals or more,” said Kamal Karanth, MD, Kelly Services India, a global staffing company. Out of these 3,000, two-thirds are going to be cabin crew as well as the sleep are going to be a mix of engineers and pilots. More than the following 5 years, the growth in hiring are going to be among 100% and 200%.”
Source: India Times