IndiGo poaches over 100 Boeing pilots, most from Jet

Chennai: IndiGo is hiring more than 100 Boeing 737 commander level pilots, primarily those exiting Jet Airways, as the country’s biggest airline looks to overcome a flying-crew shortage and establish its dominance amid an exodus of personnel from the financially-stressed airline.

Reports have stated that it would take six months to train the Boeing pilots so that they could fly A320s, an aircraft type IndiGo operates. In addition, the carrier has already hired about 130 expatriate pilots from all over the world.

IndiGo has had to cancel 30 daily flights primarily due to a shortage of commanders. Indi-Go has over 200 planes and a pilot strength of more than 3,000, including more than 1,200 commanders, of whom 50 are expatriates. It operates about 1,300 daily flights.

The airline aims to take delivery of 48 planes this year of the Airbus A320 neo family, including the stretched 20-25 A321 Planes, which it plans to deploy on the medium haul international routes, stated reports. It also has an order for about 430 planes.

salaries for pilots are about $13,000 a month and it is much less expensive to train Boeing pilots than train freshers, said sources.

Jet Airways has grounded more than 60 per cent of its planes and has delayed pilot salaries, and defaulted on loan payments, lease rentals and vendor payments.

Etihad Airways, Jet’s strategic partner, has refused to be part of a revival plan and aims to exit by selling its 24 per cent stake in the carrier and 50.1per cent in the loyalty programme.

NT Bureau