Aviation in India: Massive pilot shortage scripts big windfall for expats
Government has extended the permission for foreign pilots to work in Indian carriers by two years and has shifted the deadline to phase them out from this year-end to December 31, 2020.
Government has extended the permission for foreign pilots to work in Indian carriers by two years and has shifted the deadline to phase them out from this year-end to December 31, 2020. This decision came as it became quite clear that India is facing a severe crisis of pilots, especially commanders and this will continue for a while, according to a report by Times of India.
There are 290 expat pilots out of the total 7,000 pilots with the domestic airlines. Speculation is also there that the 2020 end would not be the fixed deadline as compared to the increasing number of flights as there are not adequate number of Indian pilots.
“At present, scheduled Indian airlines have over 7,000 pilots for their combined fleet of over 600 planes. This year itself the shortage is of over 250 pilots. Given the order books of our airlines, 1,100 aircraft are supposed to join in 7-8 years that will require over 10,000 additional pilots,” said CAPA India head
Kapil Kaul, as quoted by ToI. The report also mentions that these numbers are only for scheduled airlines, with the pilot requirement for charters, regional connectivity players, and private jets being separate.
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Kaul also added that the numbers are just a conservative estimate and the requirement will increase even more with the increasing number of Indian carriers and their widebody operations. Presently, only Jet Airways and Air India have twin-aisle operations.
Vistara has also placed an order for 6-10 widebodies and it is expected that the number would increase from this particular airline itself.