Foreign pilots pilot Indian sky
Date: Tuesday , December 27, 2005
With the expansion of the Indian Aviation sector, many airlines now want a share in the pie of the Low Cost Carriers. However the major problem they face is lack of experienced pilots to fly long-range and handle wide-bodied jets commonly used by airlines. With a heavy shortage of experienced pilots, airlines are now recruiting foreign pilots to fly the Indian sky.
According to aviation experts, in order to fill the pilot shortage gap, India needs 4,000 more pilots in the next five years and their training will cost about $200 million. The demand is expected to rise further in the years to come. Most foreign pilots find India to be a great career destination and are flying from across continents - the U.S., Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Bolivia, Indonesia, Philippines and even Nigeria.
The Indian flag carrier, Air India, is also looking to recruit foreign Captains to operate their LCC Air India Express and to hire more Commanders for Boeing 777 aircraft. But it is the private airlines that are looking to recruit a bulk of pilots from abroad.
According to Asia Pacific Aviation’s Senior Vice-President, Kapil Kaul, there are 225 foreign pilots with scheduled airlines at present.
Moving a step ahead on the same line, the Coimbatore-based Paramount Airways hired five Embraer 170 jets, which will be flown by Captains provided by Embraer for a contract period of 42 months with an Indian co-pilot. This move has given a perfect idea to the aviation industry to think on the lines of ‘buy one and get one free.’