Air India is going on a hiring spree with plans to recruit as many as 4,200 new flight attendants and 900 pilots in 2023 alone.
The airline said on Friday that it needed to dramatically bolster its staffing levels to keep up with a highly ambitious growth and transformation plan that aims to put the beleaguered carrier on the same pedestal as the likes of Emirates and Qatar Airways.
Air India was founded by local conglomerate Tata & Sons in 1932 before being sold into government hands for over half a century. Tata reacquired the dilapidated carrier after 69 years in 2022, and Air India’s new owners now plan to completely transform the airline.
Tata has given itself just five years to reverse Air India’s fortunes and key to its plans is an ambitious aircraft fleet renewal and expansion. Last week, the airline finally revealed that it had inked deals with Airbus and Boeing for up to 540 new aircraft.
Even if Air India replaces every single one of its 113 existing aircraft, the multi-billion-dollar deals with Airbus and Boeing would still see the airline expanding its fleet by an impressive 427 aircraft.
If realised, Air India will need to dramatically build its workforce to keep up with its expansion plans.
The bulk of the deal with European manufacturer Airbus is for single-aisle aircraft, including 140 Airbus A320neo and 70 stretched A321neo that will help the airline compete with domestic rivals.
The airline also plans to take 40 long-haul A350 aircraft in a bid to convince Indian travellers to eschew time-consuming connections in the Middle East in favour of travelling directly to Europe and North America.
In addition, Air India plans to take delivery of 190 Boeing 737MAX single-aisle jets, 20 widebody 787 Dreamliners, and 10 yet-to-be-certified 777X airplanes. In addition, Air India has options for a further 50 737MAX aircraft
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.
Are there 900 unemployed and qualified pilots in India? There’s a pilot shortage, so hopefully they do know that.
Probably not but the 900 don’t need to come from solely unemployed pilots, there would definitely be some that would be interested in joining AI from a different airline within India. I’m sure the Tata group would also be open to expat pilots too.