• Thursday, July 25, 2024


In a first, Air India to start own flying school in country

The institute, coming up in Amravati in Maharashtra, will have the capacity to train up to 180 pilots a year, giving aspiring pilots with no prior experience in flying a direct access to the prestigious airline’s cockpit.

An Air India aircraft (Photo by NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

IN a bid to address an anticipated shortage of pilots, Air India, India’s premier carrier, will set up a flying school in Amravati in the western state of Maharashtra.

The institute will be able to train up to 180 pilots a year, giving aspiring pilots with no prior experience in flying, direct access to the prestigious airline’s cockpit after completing subsequent stages of training.

According to a report by The Economic Times, the Tata-owned carrier has selected nearly 30 single-engine and multi-engine aircraft from US company Piper and European manufacturer Diamond for its training fleet.

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It was learnt that the Indian government is encouraging promotion of training for commercial pilots in the country, as more than 40 per cent of students seek training abroad at the moment, costing nearly Rs 1.5-2 crore (£141,619-188,826).

The report cited one source as saying that Air India is looking to be in control of the next generation of pilots and the upcoming school will play a key role in its long-term talent pipeline. The airline also eyes providing quality training since the prevalent quality in the country’s flying schools forces candidates to go abroad for better learning.

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The new school will focus on fulfilling internal requirements to begin with but it sees an opportunity in serving the external ones in days to come, it was added.

Sunil Bhaskaran, a veteran in the Tata Group and former CEO of AirAsia India, is currently the managing director of Air India Aviation Academy and is monitoring the airline’s training facilities.

Air India’s approach is significantly different from the traditional training initiatives undertaken by major airlines of the country, such as IndiGo and SpiceJet. They had earlier joined hands with independent flight schools in both India and abroad to set up branded training programmes.

IndiGo, for instance, has collaboration with as many as seven flight institutions.

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