In the next one year, Air India Express, owned by the Tata Group, will double its number of pilots by inducting 350 new ones currently undergoing training, The Financial Express (FE) reported on Wednesday quoting the airline’s managing director Aloke Singh.
Currently, the airline has 400 pilots, and the headcount may go as high as 900. New aircraft scheduled to join the Air India Express fleet will fuel the recruitment drive.
The airline wants to expand its domestic footprint and roll out new flight networks. “With 50 aircraft set to be inducted into the fleet over the next 15 months, we double in size in a short span of time. Over the course of the next 5 years, we aim to grow to a fleet of about 170 narrow-body aircraft, with a network spanning the domestic India and short-haul international markets,” Singh said.
“Between now and the end of 2024, we will induct one new aircraft every six days,” Air India chief Campbell Wilson said.
A subsidiary of Air India, Air India Express is in the process of merging low-cost domestic carrier AirAsia India with itself and last week unveiled its new brand identity.
Air India Group, comprising Air India, Air India Express, AIX Connect and Vistara, is owned by the Tatas, which is also in the process of consolidating its airline business.
“With the merger now in the final stages, we are also seeing the transformation of the aviation landscape,” said Campbell Wilson, chairman, Air India Express.
The merger is anticipated to be completed by March next year. The merged entity will be the single low-cost airline subsidiary of full-service airline Air India.