AI Express looking to hire ex-IAF pilots

AI Express looking to hire ex-IAF pilots

"As we continue to face severe shortage of senior pilots, which is impacting our operations and hurting our growth, we have decided to join hands with the Air Force to get trained pilots from them," a top AI Express official told PTI over phone from Kochi, where the airline is headquartered.

The official, requesting anonymity, also said, "As per the proposal, we will give first preference to ex-IAF pilots. We hope to hire at least 25 IAF personnel who take early retirement every year. The plan is also to get the IAF to help us train commercial pilots."

On how soon this would happen, he said, "An agreement will be in place shortly. Discussions are on at the highest level." The deal would help Alliance Air, an Air India subsidiary dealing with short haul domestic operations, and Air India Express, the official added.

The official also said, that apart from pilots, the airline will find it difficult to get enough skilled hands at the soon-to-be commissioned hangar in Thiruvananthapuram, the civil work on which is already over.

"Government policy does not allow us to pick hands from private institutes and government engineering colleges are very few to get quality talent too. "We are already in touch with government engineering colleges at Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Trichy in Tamil Nadu. The problem is that from these three colleges we could get only 15 students so far," the official said.

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